To reject wisdom because the person who communicates it is uncouth and his manners are inelegant, what is it but to throw away a pineapple and assign for a reason the roughness of its coat?
The first quality of a good education is good manners - and some people flunk the course.
Christianity is designed to refine and to soften; to take away the heart of stone, and to give us hearts of flesh; to polish off the rudeness and arrogances of our manners and tempers; and to make us blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke.
Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.
Worship is the earthly act by which we most distinctly recognize our personal immortality; men who think that they will be extinct a few years hence do not pray. In worship we spread out our insignificant life, which yet is the work of the Creator’s hands... before the Eternal and All-Merciful, that we may learn the manners of a higher sphere, and fit ourselves for companionship with saints and angels, and for the everlasting sight of the face of God.
There is a truism about manners that can be stated didactically: Each generation believes that the manners of the generation that follows it have gone to hell in a hand basket.
The institutions of a country depend in great measure on the nature of its soil and situation. Many of the wants of man are awakened or supplied by these circumstances. To these wants, manners, laws, and religion must shape and accommodate themselves. The division of land, and the rights attached to it, alter with the soil; the laws relating to its produce, with its fertility. The manners of its inhabitants are in various ways modified by its position. The religion of a miner is not the same as the faith of a shepherd, nor is the character of the ploughman so war-like as that of the hunter. The observant legislator follows the direction of all these various circumstances. the knowledge of the natural advantages or defects of a country thus form an essential part of political science and history.
Commerce tends to wear off prejudices which maintain destruction and animosity between nations. It softens and polishes the manners of men. It unites them by one of the strongest of all ties - the desire of supplying their mutual wants. It disposes them to peace by establishing in every state an order of citizens bound by their interest to be the guardians of public tranquillity.
Laws are always unstable unless they are founded on the manners of a nation; and manners are the only durable and resisting power in a people.
Example comes in by the eyes and ears, and slips insensibly into the heart, and so into the outward practice, by a kind of secret charm, transforming men’s minds and manners into his own likeness.
To the real artist in humanity, what are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of all.
For changing peoples’ manners and altering their customs there is nothing better than music.
Defend those who are absent. Hear the other side before you judge. Use company manners on the family. Every day do something to help someone else.
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment… I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
Culture is but the fine flowering of real education, and it is the training of the feeling, the tastes, and the manners that make it so.
Men and women must be educated, in great degree, by the opinions and manners of the society they live in. In every age there has been a stream of popular opinion that has carried all before it, and given a family character, as it were, to the century. It may then fairly be inferred, that, until society be differently constituted, much cannot be expected from education.
Men's manners have improved markedly since Genghis Khan's day. Harems went out of style centuries ago and even despots now disavow pillage and oppression as ideals. At heart, though, we're the same animals we were 800 years ago. Which is to say we are status seekers. We may talk of equality and fraternity. We may strive for classless societies. But we go right on building hierarchies and jockeying for status within them. Can we abandon the tendency? Probably not. For as scientists are now discovering, status seeking is not just a habit or cultural tradition. It's a design of the male psyche - a biological drive that is rooted in the nervous system and regulated by hormones and brain chemicals.
Be sincere. Be simple in words, manners and gestures. Amuse as well as instruct. If you can make a man laugh, you can make him think and make him like and believe you.
Fine manners are the mantle of fair minds.
Modesty is bred of self-reverence. Find manners are the mantle of fair minds.