We rush through life in such a hurry these days, that there is little or no time or thought for the refinements and courtesies that in the good old days of our grandparents were considered necessary to good manners.
The man or woman who has really good manners, nowadays, we distinguish as being of the "old school."
Unfortunately, the old school is passing away, and there is no new school to take its place.
We seem to be drifting into the idea that good manners are a rather boresome and indefinable something in the way of an affectation which we may put on with our best clothes for weddings, parties and other such affairs, but not to be carried about with us on ordinary occasions.
We have come to regard common courtesy as a time consumer and a waste.
Rapid communications have corrupted good manners, for the speed with which we can travel or transmit news has aroused a nervous impatience of delay which is fatal to courtesy and manners both in spirit and form.
We no longer write the good, long, warm, soul-satisfying letters that were written in the old days.
Formerly letters were dignified and interesting, but now they are neither.
We imagine we have no time to write elegantly and in a spirit of impatience we scribble a few lines to some friend when there is no escape from the painful necessity.
And the letters of today show that their writing is a task, not a pleasure.
Once upon a time it was good manners to hold old age in reverence, but it is not so any more.
Whatever we may actually feel in the heart, our attitude toward the old indicates that instead of regarding them with reverence we consider age the synonym for incapacity and boredom.
It is an age of ill manners in both men and women.
Garish vulgarity taints what is regarded, commonly at least, as the best society.
So far we have sunk that the men of genuine courtesy and polish must balance it with some sort of coarseness or be damned as a "sissy."
St. Paul Daily News-- Minnetonka Record, November 21, 1902 (100 years ago!)
Thanks to scottobear for originally posting this :D
The Decay of Manners (hypocrisy).
Ko Yuen Translation:
When men abandoned the Way of the Tao, benevolence and justice became necessary. Then also was need of wisdom and cunning, and all fell into illusion. When harmony ceased to prevail in the six spheres it was needful to govern them by manifesting Sons. When the kingdoms and races became confused, loyal ministers had to appear.
S. Mitchell Translation
When the great Tao is forgotten,
goodness and piety appear.
When the body's intelligence declines,
cleverness and knowledge step forth.
When there is no peace in the family,
filial piety begins.
When the country falls into chaos,
patriotism is born.
James Legge Translation
1. When the Great Tao (Way or Method) ceased to be observed, benevolence and righteousness came into vogue. (Then) appeared wisdom and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy.
2. When harmony no longer prevailed throughout the six kinships, filial sons found their manifestation; when the states and clans fell into disorder, loyal ministers appeared.
D. C. Lau translation
When the great way falls into disuse
There are benevolence and rectitude;
When cleverness emerges
There is great hypocrisy;
When the six relations are at variance
There are filial children;
When the state is benighted
There are loyal ministers.
GNL's Not-Lao Interpolation by Peter Merel
When the Way is forgotten
Duty and justice appear;
Then knowledge and wisdom are born
Along with hypocrisy.
When harmonious relationships dissolve
Then respect and devotion arise;
When a nation falls to chaos
Then loyalty and patriotism are born.
The text in Chinese
The Tao Te Ching
also known as Dao De Jing/Tao Teh King
Attributed to Lao Tzu, 6th c. BCE
(though scholars disagree about his actual existence)
Notes to self: Jane Teller, Jane Teller, Jane Teller. Oh, and Ishtar, Oestra and the Mad March Hare (maybe you'll finally get to writing on last year's SIGGRAPH and DRAGON*CON-- heh). Oh-- do take a March, the Mad Scientist wander'bout next weekend if humanly possible!
Also note: the ability to carry on a wonderfully-engaging conversation with a clear and separate throughline of children's-animation-gone-terribly-naugh