131 – Etiquette

When you first walk into the office, say hello before talking business. Never invite yourself, but you are expected to drop in unannounced where you are always invited. Even when you get home, announce that you’ve arrived. If you live alone, check in with friends often. Communicate. “Ping” your presence. If you’re not early, you’re late, but don’t knock before the meeting.

Inquire about meal plans when meeting within two hours of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When inviting guests to a first-of-a-kind, tell them what you will be wearing so they can dress to the occasion. Even in the snow, take off your glove to shake hands. Nothing beats the gesture of going out of one’s way just to be friendly, even when it’s not necessary.

Always leave soon enough so people are hungry for more, it’s polite because it means you know your place. Don’t be too welcoming. Uninvited help is an insult except those rare moments when we can’t send an SOS. When taming a wild animal, let it walk all the way up to you to take food from your hand; if it’s a scavenger it will bite you anyway, if it’s a prairie dog or rabbit it probably won’t.

Always be kind and give respect, especially in the face of adversity. Do what it takes and then some. The older one should act like it, always act like you’re the older one. Don’t sweat the little stuff, it’s all little stuff. When traveling, be the first to wake, the last to sleep, and always help carry someone’s luggage. Leave everything better than you found it. Don’t mess with it if it’s not yours.

When you point your finger at someone, three point back at you. Good rules like this keep you on your toes in other areas. Learn them from older generations, especially people who have strong experience. Pieces of etiquette have roots in history and good ideas.

Don’t brush off wise traditions merely for seeming constraining or “unoriginal”. Write them down and keep training yourself. Read many more in the Book of Proverbs. Derive your own from the rest of the Bible as you read it daily. It’s called wisdom.