Monday Morning Latte
Thoughts on Protocol
The saying—First things first—it may sound like a cliché but it didn’t come from nowhere. Look at any etiquette book and you will find all sorts of advice on how to do things properly, including a chapter or section on forms of address. You call the Queen of England, Your Majesty and thereafter Ma’am, but you call Prince Phillip, Your Royal Highness and thereafter Sir.
Photo Courtesy The Sun
What’s the big deal? I’ll never meet the Queen anyway. Tell that to the John and Frances Canning of Manchester England, who were surprised when the Queen, whom they had invited to their wedding, showed up. Can’t you just feel the beads of perspiration forming on their stiff upper lips?
I know over the last thirty or forty years that kind of social detail has been frowned upon as OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder] or other words not appropriate for family reading. Perhaps one of the unfortunate legacies of the hippie era is a generation of children with appalling manners. It’s easy to turn a blind eye when people are still children. It’s not so easy when they are all grownup but continue acting like children.
Go to any embassy in the world, and you will find staff pushing brooms who know more about protocol than some PhDs in our country.
Photo Courtesy of US Embassy in London
More Expected from Those Who Have More
I’m not advocating driving ourselves to insanity over it. We have plenty of other things in our lives that suffice. What I do think is that as Americans, we have a few responsibilities in the way we carry ourselves that come with the many privileges.
So I will leave you with three things to think about, not difficult but impacting enough to make any encounter with our fellow man more gracious. I’d like to thank Dorothy L. Owens for these gems.
One, the essence of good manners is consideration for others. When we slow down and put ourselves in the shoes of the other man, we will not fail. When we consider how they may be feeling, and respond appropriately and kindly, we will make them more comfortable and earn their respect.
Finally, keep confidences. If we want increased responsibility on the job or in our community groups, we must show ourselves trustworthy. For top executives, all doctors and attorneys, and clergymen, this is a no brainer. This is the how we protect people.
There are plenty of good books on the subject. This can become a really fun exercise for children. Make a game out of remembering proper etiquette and reward good behavior with treats.
Incidently, I have no doubt that her Majesty knew exactly how to treat the Cannings.
Photo of Her Majesty Courtesy of The Mail