Saturday, July 28, 2007

On Manners and Wealth

A rare occurance...

I was inspired by Peggy Noonan's particularly timely piece in today's Wall Street Journal, entitled "Rich Man, Boor Man" to write today's entry. The key to her article is that "the pursuit of riches has made us ruder". Absolutely.

One of my new favorite books is Good Manners, which actually isn't new, but from the late 19th century. While reading it, I discovered that manners are constant, and what consitutes good manners has barely changed in the past two centuries. As we become more disconnected, the loss of manners creates considerably more room for misunderstanding, conflict, and evasion to avoid discomfort.

As I alluded to in my recent post on the White House dress code, the loss of manners has made it easy to dismiss the basic level of respect owed to sites of historic significance and prestige.

The Wall Street Journal article "What I Wore to the Takeover" combines the ideas of manners, respect and clothing as communication. In this article, Donald Trump mentions that he respects his colleagues and business associates by dressing harmoniously with their culture and environment. While clothes alone do not make the man, I think the WSJ is on to something here...

1 comment:

  1. I have the updated "Etiquette" by Emily Post and read it almost cover to cover.