Friday, January 13, 2006

Being Polite

Did you ever wonder if parents are teaching their children to be polite these days?

Or is teaching them to be polite like this knucklehead says, a form of abuse? (Hawkins would have us believe we can teach our children only his kind of dogmas, instead of the kind of dogmas we would like to choose for ourselves. To me this means Dawkins would have us be less free rather than more free. He needs a large dose of logical, Chestertonian thinking, don't you think?)

I was reflecting just now on how polite Gilbert Chesterton was, so polite that people often mentioned how polite he was, which means it made an impact.

I recently re-watched the film Harvey and the one thing I noticed particularly with this viewing, was how incredibly polite "Elwood" (Jimmy Stewart's character) was. Incredibly polite.

I think politeness-training alone would improve the world a tremendous amount, and I know that even I can learn a lesson from Elwood and Gilbert.


  1. It is this, in fact, that struck me quite heavily while watching Narnia recently. When the children are first brought into Professor Kirke's office, they stand at attention and call him "sir." A man they've never met, and who holds demonstrable authority.

    I'd probably swoon if I saw that today.

  2. When I was 11 we moved from Minnesota to South Carolina. All my new teachers used to scold me for not saying "Yes, ma'am" or "no, ma'am" when answering questions. "Don't you yankees learn any manners?" they'd ask.

    "Yes," I'd reply, once again forgetting to add "ma'am." We fled South Carolina after 18 months.


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