Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Perfectly.. Inconsiderate~ An Issues Article by Emily Ciszewski
Arriving promptly five minutes early, the young gentleman parks as near to the house as he can, leaving his car running for extra warmth and turning up the heat on the cold night.
He walks to the door, patiently rapping softly three times. Mr. Miller opens the door, “Why hello Jack! Margret is just about ready, why don’t you come in?” Jack hands his hat to the man and sits when asked in the soft leather ‘company’ chair. Mrs. Miller offers him some tea, and he sips it while chatting with Mr. Miller. “Well, you’re a nice boy Jack - you and Margret have a nice night, remember, at the latest.” Margret walks into the room then, at exactly 6:30, hair set and dress ironed. “Hello Jack, thank you for waiting, I’m ready now.”
“Just on time - you look wonderful as always. Good-night Mr. and Mrs. Miller, thank you for the tea!”
The two walk out to the car, Jack opening her door and softly closing it after she slides in.
“Hope it’s warm enough for you,”
“Oh, yes it’s perfect, thank you.”
Sounds perfectly lovely - doesn’t it? Jack is so patient, so thoughtful. Mr. and Mrs. Miller so relaxed and hospitable. Margret so lady-like and sweet. Everything seems so….so….old-fashioned? I wish I could think of a better word - but yet, that is how the little tale sounds, doesn’t it? But don’t you wish that’s how it still was? That people were still so considerate? If so many of us girls are enchanted by this picture of kindness, then how come it’s been disregarded like our Grandma’s doilies? Disrespect is a big issue in America, especially among teens. Where hats were taken off in homes and Church, men and boys don’t even think of removing them. Where doors were quickly held open for the ladies passing through, they’re now closed as the person in front of you walks on. Where women and girls offered hospitalities such as tea and cakes, we’ve cast aside even asking our guests to sit down.
Words such as ‘etiquette’ or ‘manners’ seem out-dated and foreign in our vocabulary. To me, it’s sad. I looked up the word etiquette in my dictionary and here is the definition;
Etiquette: “A high regard for and appreciation of worth; esteem.”
We see the word ‘worth’ in there. Worth. “A high regard for and appreciation of worth; esteem.” Though we may not think the people around us are ‘worthy’ of our respect and kindness, God did.
See Him on the cross - bleeding for everyone of us. God thinks we’re worth it. Who am I to defy God?
I’m not asking you to host a tea party and dress up in a colonial dress - (though that might sound like fun!) - the simple point is this;
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
To love as Jesus did….that is no easy task.
Jesus got on the floor and washed dirty feet. Jesus touched a leper. Jesus loved. Jesus died because you and I are worth it to Him.
Hospitality. Love. Kindness. Etiquette. It’s all about consideration for others. About treating others the way we want to be treated.
To open a door - it’s not an old-fashioned idea, it’s simply showing someone you think they’re worth it. To offer someone hot tea on a cold afternoon, or iced in the hot of the day - wouldn’t you appreciate the kind offer? To take off your hat in someone’s home or your Church - it shows you are in debt to them - that you acknowledge their authority in their home, as for Church - isn’t it God’s home?
Open the door for the people behind you, the older couple carrying groceries, the boy with his hands full of school papers.
Offer to help your mom in the kitchen, your sister with her homework, your dad with washing the car.
Avoid interrupting those talking around you, listen with your whole heart.
Ask people to sit down, offer them the best chair, give them extra attention at the table, even if they're not your company.
Make eye contact with the person talking to you, and talk back to them. (I hate it when people just listen but don't comment! :) )
Dress up when you know you'll be having company, even if it's just switching into nicer pants.
Lavish others with the kind of treatment you'd like.
So, the question; What is hospitality? What is etiquette? What are manners?
Answer; Treating others the way you’d like to be treated.
It’s as simple as that. “Thank you for a wonderful evening Jack, I had a nice time.”
“Thank you for allowing me the pleasure Margret.”
It’s , Jack hurries to open her door, then escorts her to the house. “I won’t come in, your parents might not be expecting me. Good-night Margret.”
“Thank you, good-night Jack.”
He pecks her cheek with a gentle kiss and she blushes.
He waits till the door opens to her, then slips to his car and drives away quietly.