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Social Etiquette

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

Etiquette Questions

I have heard a hue and cry about the decline of civility in America. A poll by the Pew Charitable Trusts revealed that 78% of my fellow citizens believe a "lack of respect and courtesy is a serious problem for our society."

A friend of mine suggested I write a Hub about Social Etiquette. While there will not be space here today to address Etiquette Questions concerning business, dining, weddings, ceremonies, communication, children, or relationships; we will investigate Etiquette and Manners regarding everyday activities.



Etiquette and Manners

Courtesy is contagious. Knowing proper manners gives one more confidence in various settings, helps establish a good reputation, pleases others, and improves relationships with people with whom you interact. Outward expressions of decency and goodwill holds society together. All that is required is a generous spirit.

You can learn a lot about any person by observing the way they treat others. A good person has a sense of personal character and honor; and does not demean others for their opinions and ideas.

A courteous person treats those who serve him—restaurant wait staff, store clerks, receptionists—with respect. Be thoughtful: think about how you can raise the spirits of someone you encounter. Be kind: act to brighten the day of other people.

One of my favorite words is grace. It has a number of definitions. Besides meaning to be charming, refined, and generous; in its finest sense grace means to bless or favor someone who doesn't deserve it.

A gracious person does not seek revenge; is not pleased at the misfortunes of those who may have mistreated her; goes out of her way to spare other people from embarrassment; forgives others without mentioning the offense. Grace is love in action.



Rules of Etiquette

Common courtesies include: truly listening to people when they speak; standing when an older person enters the room; seating the leader of your family or company at the head of the table.

Address authority figures by their title and last name, e.g., Bishop Robinson; Senator Baker; Professor Vecchio; Captain Fuller; Director Raymond; Coach Misch; Judge Nemo. This demonstrates that you value the achievements of other people.

The Rules of Etiquette require that we acknowledge someone else's presence. Greet the people who serve you in any setting. Stand to meet someone new, or a person due special respect.

If you are on a bus, train or subway, offer your seat to the elderly, the infirm, the frail, pregnant women, mothers with children, people carrying a heavy load. Do not put your things on a vacant seat when on public transportation.

Be quiet and never use foul language. If you must use your cell phone, text messaging is much preferred to carrying on a conversation that your fellow citizens will be forced to hear.



Social Etiquette

If you are having a conversation with a friend and another friend comes over to say hello to you, introduce them to each other immediately, if they don't know one another.

When making the introduction, look at the senior or more prominent person—the person to whom you are introducing the other friend—and say, "Judge Nemo, I'd like you to meet Coach Misch."

Introduce an employee to the boss; a younger person to the older person; a man to a woman; anybody to a famous or high-ranking person. In a casual setting or with two friends the same age, you may use their first and last names, skipping the titles. Then it is important to start a conversation between them about something you know they have in common.

If you are introduced to someone, don't just say "Wazzup"; instead say "It's my pleasure to meet you, Director Raymond." Use their name straightaway. It's the easiest way to remember it. If someone forgets to introduce you, introduce yourself—not by asking someone their name—by saying, "Hello. My name is James."

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Good Manners Go a Long Way

Social Etiquette requires that you open and hold a door for everybody. Never let a door close on another person after you go through. When in an elevator, move to the back. If you intend to stand on a moving walkway or escalator, always stand to the right so that those who want to walk past you may do so on the left.

If you want to introduce your dog to another dog or to a child, always ask the other dog owner or parent first. Don't throw your trash into the street—even cigarette butts. Find a trash receptacle. If you see someone else throw a cup on the sidewalk, pick it up and put it in the trash. Never spit in public.



Driving Etiquette

When driving on a divided highway, stay out of the left hand lane unless you have no other vehicles behind you traveling at a faster speed. Use your turn signals when turning a corner or changing lanes. Do not use your car horn to express displeasure. Do not let anger affect your judgment.

If you see someone trying to enter the road in a line of traffic, at least wave one car to go in front of you. If you encounter a funeral cortege, pull over until it passes. Do not block pedestrian crosswalks at a stop light. Do not stop in a right hand turning lane if you are going straight when it is legal to turn right on red, thereby holding up progress for those behind you.

Center your car in a parking space; drive slowly in parking lots. When stopping for gas, pull to a forward pump so others may pull in behind you. Do not leave your car there while you go in the store. Park the thing first.

Turn off your music when pulling up to drive-through window. Be pleasant to the people working the window. Do not jump in front of other people who are trying to hail a taxi. Tip the taxi driver, if he has been courteous, and the cab is clean and comfortable.



Shopping Etiquette

Now let's go shopping. When you encounter a salesperson or clerk, look them in the eye and say "Hello." If they have a nametag, use it.

If you take your children with you, have them under control. If you take them shopping when they are hungry or tired, you are asking for disruption.

In a checkout line, have your money or plastic at the ready. Do not talk on your cell phone in line. Do not get into the "ten items or fewer" line with eleven items. If a new line opens, do not rush to beat somebody who was there first. If you want to return something, try to put it back where you got it.

If you drop a jar and it breaks, don't skulk away; tell somebody so they can clean up the mess. Don't block an aisle with your shopping cart; stand behind it. If you have an appointment with any business, show up on time.



Etiquette for Attire

The clothes we wear reflect the importance we attach to the occasion. Casual attire does not mean sloppy. Tuck your shirt in. Wear matching socks. Don't wear stained or wrinkled clothing.

Barefoot only works at the beach. Ditto going bare-chested. Don't dress your little girls up like hookers.

No white socks with dress clothes. No low-riders with your butt crack or your fat belly showing. I wouldn't wear torn jeans or a jogging suit out to eat. No tennis shoes with a suit. Keep your jewelry clean.

If you wear a baseball cap, the bill is designed to shelter your forehead; not the back of your neck or your ears. Hat Etiquette requires that you take your cap or hat off when you enter someone's home or office; in a restaurant; at the movies, theatre or concert; when the national anthem is played.

Cover your tattoos at work; nix the piercings except for the ears of a female. Remove sunglasses indoors.

OK. You receive an invitation. It includes a notation of the appropriate attire. What does it mean?

BLACK TIE means a man wears a black tuxedo and a woman wears a formal evening dress.

BLACK TIE OPTIONAL means a man wears a tux if he has one; a dark suit with white shirt and tie, if he doesn't. A woman may wear a cocktail dress.

BUSINESS ATTIRE means a man wears a dark suit, tie and leather shoes. A woman should wear a dress or a classy skirt.

DRESS OR BUSINESS CASUAL means a man should wear dress slacks, sport coat or blazer, with no tie; a woman may wear dressy pants.

CASUAL means khakis or pressed jeans with a nice shirt—not Bermuda shorts and flip flops (unless it is an afternoon barbecue or a beach party).

If you take a new job, note right away how the most successful people in the company are dressed and emulate them. If invited somewhere and you are not sure what the proper attire is, call and ask. A man can never go wrong with a suit: it shows respect and makes a man look his best.

For men or women, dress in fabrics that suit the season—no wool in summer or cotton suits in winter. Unless you have an unlimited budget, buy clothes that are classic in style (that never go out of style) instead of trendy fashions.

Men, keep those ties dry-cleaned. Do not wear gold necklaces or bracelets. A watch, ring and cufflinks should be the extent of your jewelry. Use a thin wallet that does not create a bulge in your pants and use a money clip for your bills.

Do not wear boots or loafers with a suit. Shine those shoes. Do not wear a short sleeve shirt with a tie. You should not see your socks when you are standing; or your shins when you are sitting. Trim your nose and ear hair, please.

Women, dress in such a way as to make those around you comfortable. Do not show a lot of flesh, particularly if you are going to be offended by those who then look at it. It's alright to use makeup for a bold look in the evening but go for a natural look in the daytime. Touchup your makeup in private. Same goes for messing with your contact lenses.

UHHH . . . NO

UHHH . . . NO

Personal Grooming

Personal grooming is important to how you are perceived by others. I would not recommend biting your nails. Rather, keep them trimmed and clean. If a woman wears nail polish, keep it fresh. Floss every day, and brush your tongue.


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 19, 2018:

Virginia ~ Thank you for reading my article. I'm with you. If someone is standing in my way, I say, "Excuse me," and it seems to work every time.

Virginia on June 18, 2018:

My boyfriend and I were having a spirited discussion about what the proper thing to say when someone is standing in your way. Whether you are watching TV, or someone is standing in your way in the grocery isle. I say one should say excuse me, I can't see, but he says that is wrong, and taking them you can't see it need to get by if fine. Which, if either, is correct?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 07, 2012:

Eiddwen— You are quite welcome, my dear. I am glad you enjoyed this piece. I appreciate the visit and your comments.



Eiddwen from Wales on January 06, 2012:

i really enjoyed this one;'it's easy to see why there are so many comments.

Thanks for sharing.

Take care and enjoy your day.


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 23, 2011:

Ally— I hear you! The lack of civility in America the past couple decades is appalling. I think it stems from an enormous drop in morality as more and more the spiritual side of humanity is shut out from the public square and children are taught in school that they are nothing more than smart animals. In this line of thinking, morals and manners are merely social constructs with no real meaning; so any or no morals and manners are just as good as any other. Thanks for reading and writing.

Ally on April 21, 2011:

Where I come from, pregnant women, elderly, mothers with babies are preferred at the check out line. Here in the U.S people don't give up your space for nothing!!!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 22, 2011:

funmontrealgirl— You are welcome. Thank you for visiting my Hub and leaving your comment. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community! :-)

funmontrealgirl from Montreal on March 20, 2011:

I will honestly put this to practice. Thank you for the reminder!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 09, 2010:

Lita C. Malicdem— Hey! It is good to hear from you again. I hope all is well for you these days. I know you have struggles to overcome each day. It is good you have God there to help you through.

Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I am honored that you mentioned me in your Hub. You are sweet.

Thank you for being my HubPages friend. And you are welcome. Oh, and I'm glad you enjoyed this etiquette lesson. I doubt you need much polish. :D

Lita C. Malicdem from Philippines on November 08, 2010:

I felt like a school girl again listening to a great mentor on Etiquette and Manners. You do so well, James, in putting things always right here at HP. Well, I need to repolish, really! But for today, I singularly focus my mind on this one, "Courtesy is contagious". For all the supportive comments you had given me, it's my great pleasure to endorse one of your insightful comments on one of my hubs in my anniversary hub prayer! Thank you!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 12, 2010:

lyjo— I am well pleased to have provided some hope for you. :-)

I love your fine, thoughtful comments. They show you to have a big heart. Thank you. And you are welcome.

lyjo on October 12, 2010:

You have given me renewed hope, I long for a world where everyone is kind, considerate and caring. It seems that people have become embarassed to do the right thing, since there are very few that do these days, this was beautiful to read, thanks, take good care,

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 12, 2010:

PegCole17— Thank you very much for coming by to read my Hub. I appreciate your keen insights. I think a lot of the incivility has to do with multi-culturalism. Politeness and manners are seen in some circles as "acting white," and multiculturalism teaches children that all sets of customs and traditions are equally as good as any other.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on September 12, 2010:

James, you've touched on so many areas that seem to be falling out of our normal interactions with one another.

Giving one's seat to an elderly person or a woman with a child would seem obvious but often ignored. I'm always impressed with a young person who forfeits their seat on behalf of someone whose needs are greater.

Courtesy in stores has become practically non-existent. I was tempted recently say something to a mother who allowed her child to throw empty food wrappings in the aisle of the store without correcting them. And finding anyone who puts unwanted items back where they came from rarely happens. Moreoften I see discarded paper cups and debris left on the store shelves.

As you've said - each of these areas offer enough material for an entire hub. Great information here.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 22, 2010:

Benefits of Military Loans— I surely agree with you. I appreciate your acute insights. Thank you visiting my Hub.

Benefits of Military Loans on August 22, 2010:

The problem lies not with the youth but the parents of the youth that neither set a good example when it comes to etiquette nor do they teach them the value of good etiquette. dohn121 said they should teach it in the High Schools. It should not be necessary. Its basic good manners and it should be a way of life - taught long before a child reaches High School.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 30, 2010:

magnoliazz— No worries. I had never looked at it that way either until that day. Love makes the world go round, baby! :D

magnoliazz from Wisconsin on April 30, 2010:

You know James, I never really looked at it like that. I am are right, so what if we give them 5 minutes to chat, what is 5 minutes if it makes someone happy!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 29, 2010:

dreamreachout— Thank you. hmmm . . . I hadn't thought of the angle you wrote about. That is quite interesting. Thank you for your observations!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 29, 2010:

magnoliazz— You're welcome! Thank you for coming. I appreciate the accolades. I'm very happy that you enjoy my Hubs.

I agree with your addendum to my little article. I will say one thing: the old ladies who chat up the cashier used to get under my skin until I went shopping with my grandma and she did it! I thought long and hard about it and came to the realization that this was one of the few social interactions she had left in life. She wanted it to last as long as possible. It is wrong. But I have learned to relax, be patient, and let them have their moment in the sun. :-)

dreamreachout on April 29, 2010:

Wonderful hub but the point is when the individual or the society gets rich financially these sort of misconduct creeps in!! This is a new trend in India now with the extra money!!

My point may just be one of the many reasons for such behaviour!! Just my observation!!

magnoliazz from Wisconsin on April 29, 2010:

Thanks James...another wonderful hub!

One thing I would like to add for women. Keep your fingernails at a resonable length! As a nurse, I know how extra long nails can spread disease. It may be the height of fashion to have those long nails, but save it for a special occasion.

Everyone should use a nail brush on a daily basis, especially if you are cooking or caring for the ill or children.

Another thing...if there is a long line at the check out, this is NOT the time to strike up a lengthly conversation with the cashier. Save it for a day when no one is behind you. I was ready to say something to an older woman who held up the line for a good 5 minutes. Of course the cashier should have known better too. I was so angry that I sent a note to the store management.

Another thing. When waiting in line, go to the back of the line! Its hard to believe, but people still cut in from time to time and it is the very height of poor manners. Then they act as if they did nothing wrong. I never say anything, but I would like to!

Thanks James, I enjoy your hubs so much!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

lisadpreston--- I'm sorry! I didn't know. There are real lessons in "Leave it to Beaver" and "The Andy Griffith Show." I agree with you that the Woodstock Generation--which is what my book is going to be about--rejected authority, custom and tradition. This surely led to a decline in civility. I was a willing participant in this generation's machinations to a certain extent. But frankly, I prefer the 50s. Thank you for reading my work here and leaving your most excellent comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2010:

The Rope--- The amazing Mr. James! :D

Thank you for inspiring me to greater heights. Your words here carry great weight with me. I am grateful to you for them. And you are most welcome.

lisadpreston from Columbus, Ohio on February 01, 2010:

Dagnabbit. Everything I want to write about, you have written it already! Well this was a great hub. Isn't it sad that one would have to write about kindness, respect and manners in a How to format? These things should come natural. Well, maybe not. I dont so much blame the youngsters today, but their parents. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, with exceptions, of course. I think maybe the 60s movement, with free love and whatever goes, and rebellion is what caused our now lack of respect for elders, authority and manners in general. I know in the 50s, respect and manners were mandatory, not that I was alive yet, but Ive watched episodes of leave it to Beaver and Happy Days. LOL. It Is good to instruct the different "classes" on business, and social etiquette, though. You did bring out a few things that I didn't know, not that Im some kind of expert on social graces, trust me Im not. LOLOL. Love ya, Lisa

The Rope from SE US on February 01, 2010:

James, you are amazing! Your writing skills and your ability to convey ideas is incredible. Once again, this is a terrific hub and well worth the read - and the reminders. Thank you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 05, 2010:

Duchess OBlunt— Ah yes; those southern roots. :D

Manners used to be passed down through generations but I guess people are too busy and have too many fractured homes. Also, we don't gather around the dinner table as we once did in this country. That is where many of these lessons were once learned.

Thanks for your kind comments. :-)

Duchess OBlunt on January 05, 2010:

You have made some great points here James, your southern roots are certainly showing :) It seems a shame that parents don't teach these things on an everyday basis. Another good hub - you have such a variety.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 08, 2009:

internpete— Thank you. Yes, it is most acceptable and even recommended. Thanks for dropping in.

Peter V from At the Beach in Florida on December 08, 2009:

A good reminder. It is always acceptable to be polite. nice work

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 07, 2009:

rondre64— Thank you very much. Perhaps this Hub has served as a little reminder. I hope so. You're most welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 07, 2009:

GRivers— Thank you! It surely would. It would be a kinder gentler world. I appreciate the visit.

rondre64 on December 07, 2009:

Wow James this is great stuff. If only the majority of us would remember to do it though. Thanks once again

GRivers on December 05, 2009:

Great Hub! Wouldn't it be great if everyone followed those guidelines.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 04, 2009:

Thank you very much for visiting and leaving your fine comments. Etiquette for women is changing and I may be a bit outmoded on that. And some of this is of course flexible to different social strata and ethnicities. My wife is surely a proper Lady. :)

lindagoffigan from Phoenix, Arizona on December 04, 2009:

I was amazed at your take on the proper way for women to dress and behave properly in public. Got a little offended when vehicles were called things but your point is well taken in regards to properly handling of your car with courtesy in traffic.

I see that you are married so I suppose some of what you learned concerning women came from your wife.

Great Hub except the gender differentiation is an element when it comes to discussing manners.

For example, I do not think that a woman has to get up from her seat if an elderly man enters the room.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 03, 2009:

mercon— Thank you for taking the time to read it and leave your comment. I'll come over and read your writings soon, too.

mercon on December 03, 2009:

a very interesting article

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 02, 2009:

bearclawmedia— Thank you very much. I have been pleasantly surprised with the interest in this article. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. I'll be by to read wisdom from Down Under.

bearclawmedia from Mining Planet Earth on December 02, 2009:

What a great post, you certainly hit a nerve.

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on December 02, 2009:

OOPS! Might I ask for forgiveness, I didn't mean to ring in again!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

Kebennett1— You are welcome, welcome, welcome! Thank you for your usual fine comments. I'm always pleased to read your words.

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on December 01, 2009:

James my friend, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Especially the parts about manners and keeping your children under control in stores! I mean really, how hard is it to be polite and say please and thank you? How hard is it to wear pants that fit? There is fashion and then there is just plain ridiculous! PS overweight ladies (like me) do not wear tight t-shirts that roll up, strapless shirts and dresses, or anything else that hugs your upper body! Make sure your pants are not so tight you make rolls that spill over your waist band. It looks gross, not sexy!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

Madame X— You are welcome. It's great to hear from you. Thank you for your wise words here.

Madame X on December 01, 2009:

I agree with you - courtesy holds society together and helps everyone know how to act in a situation that they might not otherwise know how to. This is a great reminder not to let daily frustrations interfere with good grace toward others.

Thanks :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

k@ri— What a pleasure to receive such a prominent guest. I am well pleased that you loved this Hub. Some of these courtesies may be outdated. It never hurts to display grace, better to err on the side of courtesy, methinks. Thank you for coming.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

50 Caliber— Thank you! You are absolutely right. It is best to train a child than wait until he is an adult. Same goes for puppies (not that I am equivocating). Some snidely say those families never existed (like on TV) but I beg to differ. I knew well mannered, loving, traditional families like that. But I wasn't in one.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 30, 2009:

Hi James! I love this hub. It is easily understood and explains some issues that many think are outdated in this day and age. Courtesy and grace are alive, I's just that many forget how to display them.

50 Caliber from Arizona on November 30, 2009:


a fine topic. What came to my mind was black and white television. "Leave it to Beaver", Ozzie and Harriet "My three Sons" basically programing that demonstrated family dynamics on a respectful scale that re-enforced the age of family teaching. It has been lost at the age where it is best conveyed, just my observation.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 29, 2009:

Bail Up !— Thank you for your compliments. Always nice to read. You are most welcome. I hope it helps.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 29, 2009:

Paraglider— Yes, I agree with you. Things are different in different cultures. Thank you for pointing that out for my readers. The we have the double kiss, the single kiss, the air kiss, the hand kiss, and the no kiss. What to do?

Bail Up ! on November 29, 2009:

Such simple and common sense type social rules yet so hard for some to follow. Nicely put together. Thanks for putting it out here for all of us.

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on November 29, 2009:

James - it is also important to learn the differences that apply around the world. What is normal in one country can be a faux pas in another. In the US, people seem to dress more formally for business than in UK, yet seem to think nothing of eating cookies during meetings and seminars. In some cultures, laughing is behind the hand, so as not to show teeth. In others, it is normal for men to kiss each other by way of greeting. Then you have the duration and firmness of a handshake, acceptable eye-contact and so on. It's a huge field. Perhaps that should be minefield!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

Hxprof— I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate you letting me know. Thanks for coming.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

dara— Hello my old friend! It is a pleasure to hear from you. You are one of the very nicest people I have ever known, Dara. Thank you for coming and you are welcome. That would be Newt Gingrich. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

TheAllSeeingEye— No where on Earth are people as equal as in America. I am sure there are technologies we know nothing about, yes. The Income Tax is surely illegal under the Constitution before the Income Tax Amendment was passed. That subject is a great idea for a Hub. Other than that, I appreciate you for sharing your wisdom here. I will read those links you provided when I have time, maybe Monday.

Hxprof on November 28, 2009:

I enjoyed this piece because it reminded me of things I've forgotten and yes, even a few things I was never taught.

I'll admit to dressing way too casually on many occasion; fact is ONE of the reasons I work for myself is so I don't have to dress formally so often....odd perhaps but true.

Yeah, I've got some childhood issues about formal dressing to work through!

dara on November 28, 2009:

Hey Wow this is me...that is: I do all these things and I am feeling kind of proud of myself right now. Sometimes I can be a flake but,I am always sensitive to others... especially elders. I know that is is important to treat others as you would like yourself to be treated... a wonderful thing that Jesus said.

Also,regarding that picture of you and your wife: you two are beautiful together and beautifully dressed. I was curious about the guy in the chair because he looks very familiar. Thanks James> Luv Ya.

TheAllSeeingEye from England. on November 28, 2009:

James, there has been good and bad in every religion, Christianity too. The Catholic church has committed genocide throughout the ages with the order of the Crusade and Spanish Inquisition and is the only religion that has re written its doctrines and deleted much of its roots in the process. I am not against Christianity or any religion period for every religion has a holy path to god consciousness. The problem with religion it can be exploited just like society and it all depends on the peoples who take charge of the church. I suggest to people to be very careful to what they think is really going on. I am fully aware of false prophets in the Islam religion and the preachers of hate, those who sit behind the faith causing mayhem and using Islam as an excuse to spread their terror. The thing with the Muslim peoples is that they are segregated and alienated from the Western world and people only get to hear one side of a story when it comes to aggression and war. Racism is man made just as are modern religious institutions. It is devised this way to split the population and create different cultures, ideologies and belief systems. No matter any one's faith the most important thing is that we are all human and equal in both body and spirit. Unfortunately, it is a principle that has been eradicated among the human species. I could go on but I think I will leave it here now.

As for Capitalism, I'd go more for Socialism which could easily be transformed into Communism etc... again man made control methods which puts the population under rule and divide.

As for technology, would you be shocked if I said the powers at be have technology that is far more advanced than we have today ready in the pipeline to unleash on the population? This is why they suddenly invent things out of thin air. How do they do that? The people who are behind the most sophisticated technology do not come from ordinary walks of life. The mainstream population are born into a category and are here to serve a purpose.

As for debt, everything is already in debt! All nations are trillions in debt and are owned by the banks. Any money in circulation is already debt money. People think they own their own homes and possessions. If you don't believe me look it up. There are two laws that govern people. Civil Law and Admiralty law. Civil law represents the person in flesh while Admiralty law represents the artificial person or corporation. Constitutional rights are affected only through civil law or law of nature as I like to call it. People are tricked into representing the artificial or corporation when they are summoned to court. As soon as any contract is signed when monetary is involved people are waving their civil rights willingly without knowing so. When people pay taxes they are immediately handing themselves over to represent as a corporation. The only reason people pay income tax is because corporations or employers join the system and receive governmental privileges for doing so. If they do not join they do not receive privileges from the state. People are tricked of their free will and blindly accept to pay income taxes and it is basically theft!



James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

christianbooks— Thank you for your lovely sentiments. I agree with your words 100%.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

create a page— Thank you so much for the accolades. I sincerely appreciate you. And you are surely welcome!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

TheAllSeeingEye— Do Christians respect Islam? I think most do, yes. That is a tough question, since Muslims deny the central tenets of the Christian faith and have been killing Christians for 1400 years. A better question might be: do Muslims respect Christians? It is illegal to hold a Christian service in many Islamic countries, e.g., Saudi Arabia. They demand religious freedom in the world but they do not give it.

I fully understand your polemic against Capitalism. This would be best addressed by me in a new Hub. For now, I'll recommend one of the most brilliant books in history:

Capitalism has created the modern world, warts and all. Before we knock it, consider the computer you are using, with its attendant electricity and the light you read by; the sanitation you take advantage of, the roads you use . . . I'll stop. The competition you so loathe is what produces greatness. We've tried equalizing everybody: in the USSR. It doesn't work.

Force people into debt? I don't think so. Unless one is a retard, one knows what contract they sign.

Are forces of good in control? Yes and No. Ultimately, Yes. Temporally, No.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

ArchDynamics— I LOVE THIS COMMENTARY! What a great message to drivers. I can always count on you, Scott, to deliver true wisdom.

christianbooks on November 28, 2009:

I would hope that more people can read this topic, its gonna be a big big help with all the rush hush in the community. I would say that we are in one way or another social etiquette offenders and its a handful to be reminded and get to be more sensitive towards everyone, besides we all live in one planet!

create a page from Maryland, USA on November 28, 2009:

You are the most qualified hubber to write on this topic James. You have exhibited social etiquette here on hubpages which I think is a reflection of your good character and good manners.

I admire how your comments are always courteous and you always address every hubbers comment individually. I have noticed that. This reveals how much respect you have for each individual. Thanks for setting a good example which I have tried to follow. Thanks also for another excellent hub.

TheAllSeeingEye from England. on November 28, 2009:

James, I did say MOST people and I fully accept there are a small minority of people who do care for the welfare for their human counterparts, but although I also agree that many believers of Christianity are devoted and caring people it is however a small minority compared to the masses who chase their ego. One question for Christians, do they respect Islam faith or other religious doctrines? This is against their belief and interests. Some possibly can but again I feel many wouldn't!

The chase for wealth usually comes with exploitation and dishonesty. Employees move up the ladder by siding with the boss and in most cases turning against their work colleagues. Sales persons target people and try to persuade them to part with their wealth. Corporations exploit people into cheap labour and banks throw loans at people for fun, forcing them into further debt, ready to pounce to seize assets when the client cannot keep up payments.

The whole system is designed to exploit and chase the ego. Society is driven by self interest and that is why there is a lack of respect for others period! We are encouraged to compete with each other for a better standard of life. It starts with schooling years where we are indoctrinated at a young age to be smarter than the next person by regurgitating knowledge passed down by the system. Those who repeat the knowledge the best gets the thumbs up over those who do not. The system that is created is very clever. What they do is this. They take children away from their parents at the age of four or five and drill them with the information they want them to have which will support the system. Those who score the best results go on to be the next decision makers and teachers for the next generation. It is total manipulation and people can accept what they are told by others, by the educational system, religious institutions, by the governments and by the media that everything they teach and claim is true and just and continue to walk around like blind sheep chasing dreams and materialism. Really, do people honestly think that the government and media never tells lies or that the educational system teach children everything they need to know to get on through life? If a child fails to concentrate in class or fails to copy the information down on exam papers they are condemned and alienated and thrown on the scrapheap in their adulthood. Wake up and take notice...religion too, teaches one set of rules for their followers but behind closed doors practices another!

I hope James that people do follow a holy path in life and promote peace and love to others. Take a look all around you in society and world affairs and with your hand on your heart answer me this question, do you feel the forces of good are in control of this world or system?

Your answer to this question is the start of the waking up process!

ArchDynamics from Orlando, FL on November 28, 2009:

An odd but interesting approach to calm and courteous driving was given to me by a sharp self-improvement Coach a few years ago, as follows:

"Assume that every time you drive somewhere, someone will cut you off, tailgate you, honk their horn and generally do everything in their power to aggravate, distract or irritate you."

"With that being the rule and not the exception, take the individuals from behind the wheel and assume each car is robot-powered and not the result of a cognizant entity intent on making you miserable."

"Next, simply see the other cars as physical proximities, not personalities that should be lectured, punished or 'taught a lesson'".

"Your job is simply to be one box navigating safely amongst other boxes without you touching them or they you."

It was an odd thing, but when I treated driving like a simple video game, bereft of emotion, anger or that need to tell someone off, things changed instantly.

So, next time you're out and about motoring, keep the above in mind. Smile at others, let other folks go first at 4-way stops and signal early and often.

You'll enjoy the ride and arrive safer and in a much better frame of mind.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

DeBorrah K. Ogans— If you approve then I am gratified. A mini-course indeed. You are most welcome and I thank you for visiting and commenting so wisely.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

Kaie— You go girl! Enjoy your game.

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on November 27, 2009:

James A. Watkins, My heart is smiling on this one. Social Etiquette I luv it! You are on point! I say Pandora’s Box has lost its lid and just about anything goes.” With that many have said, Bye Bye and out the window goes the Social etiquette. You are right about “ lack of respect and courtesy.” It really is a growing problem in our society!

I do think it starts at home. I taught my children good manners and they are passing it on to their children… Good manners do not go out of style!

This is a great mini course from Mr. Manners himself. Kudos! What has happened to basic manners and common courtesy such as Please, Thank you, Excuse me and…. I think this would make a great Social Skills Check List! Wonderful article and great lesson Professor! Yes as you say “Grace is Love in action.” Thank you for sharing, its always a pleasure! In His Love & Blessings!

Kaie Arwen on November 27, 2009:

I enjoyed the CUB HUBS! but I'm more of a moving and checking girl.......... and I am going to move myself right now into a more comfortable chair to watch my boy do just that! Games on at nine. :-D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

I bookmarked it. Thanks. I am writing right now for a new Hub I hope to publish late tonight. Baseball. :)

I see you finished your Veldt Hub! I'll read that when I'm done writing, too. That gives me something to look forward to.

Kaie Arwen on November 27, 2009:

Changing Values, Yes Sarmack, I Think We Can

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

Kaie— You paint a grim picture there. What is the title of that Hub? I want to read it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

Maraiya Storm— Thank you very much! I love your first paragraph and agree with your words 100%. I am well pleased you found my article to be useful. That is gratifying.

I agree with you that behaviors of many kinds can be contagious. Many people were never taught. I wasn't. I am blessed to have always been a heavy reader or I wouldn't know anything. I had to teach myself virtually everything.

These courtesies help to smooth out life. Sure, there are more important things. But social graces are important in their own way. There is a place for them. Social skills are woefully inadequate these days. I used to tell my sisters that if you go on a date, watch for cues that this man will treat you with small courtesy. Not that that is any guarantee but if someone is not courteous on the first date it probably won't get better.

I appreciate your excellent commentary. Thank you visiting.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

Kaie— I love to laugh, too. You are right though that laughter is lacking. A lowly woman, huh? I don't think so. Thanks for coming back. It's always nice to hear from you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

dusanotes— I tried to cover a lot of ground, Don. Thank you for your kind compliments. My wife is a sharp dresser; and a brilliant mind. I appreciate your affirmation and you are welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

TheAllSeeingEye— Firstly, I would like to announce that you are the winner of the "Longest Comment I've Ever Had" Award. :-)

I know a lot of Christians here in Orlando who are devoted to their religion and they Do care about those who don't fit in their social interests. They volunteer to mentor in poor communities; work soup kitchens; disciple people one-on-one out of their socio-economic group. Anybody living with Christ inside will truly care for others; and do for others, especially when they have no possible gain.

The chase for wealth and success does come with a price, but not associated with dishonesty or exploitation. It has a price in that it can crowd out other areas of life that are equally rewarding in non-monetary ways. There are dishonest people in all walks of life. I have been a business owner and I know plenty of them, who are scrupulously honest and do wonderful works in our community. To be a success usually means you can provide employment and benefits for many people.

No doubt the scenario you laid out does happen. That is a problem of that person's heart, not of business in general.

I agree that people tend to compartmentalize their lives far too much and do things in one setting they would never do in another.

You may well be correct about the circulation of money. But debt slaves are those who have succumbed to temptation. I know a lot of people who never fell subject to debt. But most did. That was their choice. Nobody made them do it. Possessions do not really belong to us. God owns everything and we are stewards of what we have been given.

I don't know who you hang a around with but most people I know have plenty of regard for others. That said, your penultimate paragraph does carry the seeds of truth.

I thank you for expressing your profundity on this page. You are obviously a deep thinker.

Kaie Arwen on November 27, 2009:

Oh, I forgot, I wanted to let jiberish know that the closest I've ever seen the public schools come to teaching etiquette is through what was called "character education," and that seems to have gone the byway though I know a few who still manage to blend it into other subjects.

My biggest problem with young people lacking manners is that their parents are often lacking themselves. I wrote this in another HUB......

"The current social attitude is selfish, and it comes from everyone believing that they should have whatever they want at the expense of everyone and everything around them. Children are "bribed" to be good, and they are "rewarded" for acting in a way that would have gotten me Mom's dreaded wooden spoon as a child. Parents have no respect for the people who work with their children; they have no respect for school administration, for teachers. for coaches, or for many of their neighbors, and children learn this because their parents have no problem disrespecting these people in front of their children."

and we ask why their manners leave much to be desired?

Kaie Arwen on November 27, 2009:

It is an interesting read, and it would make countless HUBS, things have changed drastically. Some of it is......... very scary, but the book is really directed towards men, so I won't be the one writing about it, and if I did my giggles would be wasted. :-D or, they wouldn't and I'd really get myself in trouble. There is a lack of laughter in this world, but not mine.

If you ever want it let me know.............. I think you'd understand the things that are flying right over my head because I am not of the male gender, just a lowly woman to be kept safe and honored within the boundaries of my loving home.......... at least that's what it's telling me. The author obviously had never met my ex-husband.

Thanks for the smile :-)

I am off to take the scones out of the oven (yes, seriously), and to pull out the fine china (not a chance).

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

anjalichugh— Thank you and you are welcome. I enjoyed reading your excellent comments, which are themselves: graceful.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

jiberish— I have to agree. It wouldn't hurt to have a little class for a marking period (do they still have those?). Thank you for your compliments. You are a unique lady yourself. In a good way.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

pamela99— Thank you and you are welcome. I agree with you that it would surely be a better world. We can lead by example. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

creativeone59— Hey! It's nice to hear from you! Thank you for coming by to visit. You are most welcome, dear.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

prettydarkhorse— Well, thank you for that wonderful compliment. You seem like a sweet lady yourself. I have heard that in the Philippines they don't have driving laws—only driving suggestions. :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed this article and I appreciate you letting me know.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

Kaie— I'll bet that will be an interesting read. It sounds like a good subject for a Hub—how things have changed. 90 years is not that long ago in the scheme of things. Let me know what you find.

Maraiya Storm from Prescott, Arizona on November 27, 2009:

Wonderful, fascinating hub! The main thought that kept coming to me was that parents should be teaching these things to their children. My parents taught me some of it, but a lot of this they didn't teach me. What I didn't know about must have shown to those who knew these things. It is very sad when parents cannot or will not teach proper manners and etiquette. This hurts their children throughout life. What my parents didn't teach me, I later picked up just through living and seeing what other people did, and by reading some books (like knowing proper business attire). Some of it is just basic spiritual, kind, courteous behavior, which I didn't need to be taught.

Since there were still a few things I didn't know about this subject, your hub really helped me.

I find that when huge numbers of people start ignoring some of these etiquette rules, then everyone else starts ignoring them, too, and this is not good. Some were taught these things as children and then when they became adults they decided it didn't matter and threw out the rules. However, there seem to be masses of people who were never taught any of this as children. Some of the manners and etiquette that society has thrown out were very important and need to be revived.

I think they don't teach this stuff in schools because they think it is the parents' job to teach it and they don't want to interfere with the parents' opinions on this or anything else. Still, it couldn't hurt to have a standard required class on manners and etiquette, both in grade school and in high school.

I can't tell you how many times I've been at a party and people wouldn't introduce me or wouldn't properly introduce me and try to get a conversation going. People's social skills are very weak.

I used to like the women's liberation movement back in the sixties, and so at that time I decided I didn't like or need men to open car doors or other doors for me and I kind of even resented it as it seemed to be saying that men find us to be too weak and fragile to do this for ourselves! Later on I softened on it and just saw it as a sweet gesture. It's a heck of a lot better than a man treating you with no courtesy or respect. I don't need or expect him to open doors for me; but I think it's a nice gesture, anyway. It shows a man's good character; since if he is opening doors for you, then he will most likely also be respectful of you and kind to you in other ways, too. I have found this to be the case.

dusanotes from Windermere, FL on November 27, 2009:

You gave us a thousand lessons in one small hub, congratulations, James. I learned a lot - though I practice most of those things - all but the ones pointed to the women among us. I learned many lessons just by viewing the photo of you, your wife, and Newt Gingrich as he is signing his book for you. You are dressed impeccably well and your partner, well...she's a knockout. Obviously, she would be, being your wife. Thanks for the hub. Looking forward to the next one. Don White

TheAllSeeingEye from England. on November 27, 2009:

You know what strikes me as very odd? That people flood their kind thoughts and acknowledgements toward good natured principles like the issues you have addressed and yet most will step back out into this manipulated, indoctrinated gutter society that is driven by self interest and the ego showing no regard for respect of the human species whatsoever!

Here is the problem James. People are devoted to their religion, careers and the chase for wealth and success. As long as these principles take the best seat of their thinking then the practice of respect for others or the regard for others, especially others that don't fit in with their social interests become a worthless and pointless idea when stepping back into the matrix of illusion.

The chase for wealth and success comes with a price. That price is usually exploitation and dishonesty. Here is a prime example. Lets have a scenario where a successful insurance sales person takes the bus to work and showing fine social ETIQUTTE he gives his seat up for an elderly women. That is a great showing of tip top respect for the elderly and he scores 10 out of ten for his kindness here.

Now when he gets to work he then changes his demeanor by targeting elderly women to part with their savings towards pointless and expensive insurance policies with persuasive and cunning techniques to lure the vulnerable into exploitation.

This society is structured to separate and split people's interests. It is designed to make people look outside of themselves for fulfillment and happiness. It feeds the ego and as a result of this people become selfish and individualistic. There are different classes of wealth. We have the super wealthy, the middle class and the debt slaves. While the debt slaves and the middle class fight over the scraps of money that is circulating in the system the super wealthy sit back and watch knowing that the money will always go full circle and end up back in their grubby hands.

When I say super wealthy I mean those who are untouchable. You see, people are living under a sense of false security and freedom and the money they acquire and all the material items they possess at the end of the day doesn't really belong to them for all money that is circulating in the system is all debt money. When people sign a contract of employment for a corporation they immediately sign into the system of debt. Money has no value but human life is the most valuable thing to cherish. This is something they forget about and as long as people play the system then the regard for others takes a back seat of priority.

Those who control the system, control the media, control the entertainment business, control politics and laws and corporations, industry and religion know exactly what they are achieving. While people are too busy hating each other, too busy with exploiting each other, too busy with watching each other and turning against each other, too busy on chasing materialism, money and success those who secretly manipulate the system do so under no scrutiny and without any opposition or question.

The whole system is corrupted and is meant to be to keep sheep in line. Respect for others these days are virtually non existent. How can people respect others when they cannot even respect themselves? People live by the ego and willingly give up their self worth in the chase for outwardly happiness. The system is designed to dangle carrots but to give very little. In return people accept slavery and suppression while living in ignorance, denial and a false sense of freedom and security. What security? Who do they think is really protecting them? What do they think any hard earned taxes go toward? While most slog for fifty something years of their life, pay taxes and become a slave of the watch there are those who live for free, pay no taxes and have no apparent reason to watch the clock on the wall.

anjalichugh from New York on November 27, 2009:

Hi James: I must compliment you for your choice of hub topic. You said, "One of my favorite words is grace". Well, so is mine. I always used to tell my friends that even if you're compelled to (for any reason) teach someone a it with grace. Courtesy and proper manners are somehow becoming extinct. Some people believe that indulging in social niceties is just a waste of time. I wish they knew how much it adds to the charisma and magnetism of the person who adorns such qualities. Thx for the reminder.

Jiberish from florida on November 27, 2009:

There should be etiquette classes in grade school. James, you are one of a kind. Gret information as usual!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 27, 2009:

Excellent James. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if every one followed those guidelines. It made me take stock of my behavior. Thanks.

Benny Faye Ashton Douglass from Gold Canyon, Arizona on November 27, 2009:

Thank you for a very informative an well neeed hub, thankyou foir sharing it. Godspeed. creativeone59

prettydarkhorse from US on November 27, 2009:

Hi James, you are indeed a gentleman, I hope many can read this, I enjoyed this hub because you are a good example that there are still well mannered human beings, I remember in the Philippines, drivers are the worst-- they own the road and are king in their own rights, there is no lane by the way, the better driver get there first,

I am captivated by this hub, have a good day, Maita

Kaie Arwen on November 27, 2009:

So I spent the morning looking for a book that this HUB reminded me of...... the picture of Emily Post reminded me that I had it. I FOUND IT! It belonged to my grandfather. It's called Safe Counsel, and was published in 1921. It is touted as being "A guide to Purity and Physical Manhood Advice to Maiden, Wife and Mother Love, Courtship, and Marriage."

When my grandfather died I took his books, donated the majority, and kept his Bibles and this particular book because it so epitomized how women were seen and treated in the early 1900's. It talks about etiquette, letter writing, social duties, conversation, broken hearts, courtship, proposals, marriage, conception, celibacy, abortion, purity of character, the prostitution of men, the curse of manhood and even "secret diseases."

I haven't touched this book since he passed on some twenty-three years ago., but I'm going to read through it this weekend. So if you see any antiquated comments you'll know where they came from, many still apply, some are pure laughter, oh but wait........" laughter should be checked in the society of others." I'm in trouble already!"

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

ethel smith— That's a nice saying. I like it.

Simple courtesy is the key. Doesn't seem that hard, does it? Thanks for coming and for the compliment.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

rdlang05— I will be pleased to publish a Hub about hosting. That is a good suggestion.

Some things have gone by the wayside, such as always standing when lady leaves the table or returns—but I still do it. Attire has surely changed, what with casual Friday and all.

Thank you for the compliment. And you are welcome. I need to come over and read some of your Hubs, too.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on November 27, 2009:

What did they used to say? Manners maketh the man, or woman I guess. A lot is simple common courtesy. Nice Hub James

R D Langr from Minnesota on November 27, 2009:

Great Hub James. Do you think there are any older etiquette practices that are superfluous on today's society? Also, I would love to see a hub on how to be a good host/hostess. Thanks again!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

shamelabboush— Yes, the Japanese do seem to be very courteous. I agree with you that if families and schools combined with a two-pronged assault, the next generation could indeed be well mannered. Thanks for your excellent input. I appreciate you coming by and you are surely welcome.

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