Etiquette, is a French word which, is a code of polite conduct that describes expectations for acceptable behavior within a society, social class, or group.
Basically, I think Etiquette means “doing unto others as you would have them do to you.” This also means respect/regard for the next person. Etiquette is not just about how to cross your legs, or how to speak English. It refers to how you treat others. . You don’t have to know someone to be respectful and nice. Being respectful does not cost you anything. On the contrary, it may help you or your children, even grand and great grand children in the future.
There are various types of etiquette; workplace etiquette/business etiquette, social etiquette, dining etiquette- which is very necessary and can prevent disasters such as choking or contaminating your food while eating, etc.
Etiquette is not reacting to the way others act towards you.
Jumping queues even while driving, honking for no reason while driving; which I think is extremely rude, giving unsolicited opinions (especially to pregnant women-this is just horrible) are examples of actions and behaviors that do not conform to the rules of Etiquette.
The irony is that we are very religious in Nigeria but we do not apply what we learn from the churches and mosques to our daily lives. The concept of loving your neighbor as yourself is the same as etiquette. It is almost as if we have two lives- The second life shows up once we step out of the church environment. That in itself, is story for another day.
We should, however, be aware that the little ones learn by example. Most times, children pick their habits from their parents and/or sponsors. E.g. parents driving roughly with their children in the car or cursing at others.
Do not expect to have children who are saints if you cannot even lead by example.
If you practice proper etiquette, you are less likely to offend people. Those that get offended may be those that wish to be like you. 🙂
Examples of good etiquette practice:
– Keeping personal conversations and arguments off social networking sites.
– Showing some decency around the office refrigerator. If you did not put food in, do not eat it.
– Chewing with your mouth closed; keeping your elbows off the table while eating (I know this sounds strange to most people).
– Always washing your hands after going to the restroom and immediately you get in from work or anywhere it is that you went to. (even if the last thing you did before leaving work was wash your hands).
– Avoid touching a pregnant woman’s belly without permission. Avoid touching anyone’s belly at all.
The list is endless. The guide is for you to think about other people’s feelings because it is not all about you.
For detailed etiquette rules/guidelines, please visit www.etiquetteometre.com