Politeness — a Sign of Culture
I think politeness is one of the signs of culture, but real culture includes more than simply being polite. How far does politeness go? Is it only saying, “Good morning!” and “Excuse me, please!” No, it’s more than that. Politeness can be shown everywhere. When we write something at school or at home what our teachers must read, they are glad when it looks neat and is easy to read. Think of all the papers our teachers have to read. It must make them tired to read the ugly handwriting of some pupils. They have to make out words which are not written neatly. As we write, we may think only of what we are writing and not of the person who must read it, and therefore we may write carelessly. Let’s agree that it’s impolite to do that. And what about politeness in school and out of school? One of the school rules says that a school pupil should greet the head of the school and the teachers politely if he (she) meets them in the street. Another rule says that a school pupil should be polite to those older than himself, be modest and well behaved at school, in the street and in other public places. Forming culture habits of behaviour isn’t a simple thing; but if we are polite, it shouldn’t be difficult for us to be cultured in any situation.