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Ms. Magnolia

Letters have been edited for length and clarity.

Dear Ms. Magnolia, I feel sorry for young people today who are not taught etiquette. Remember you are being judged more by your manners than any other thing. Etiquette will always get you positive attention, keep your name on the guest list and get you promotions. Using manners makes us a good person in the eyes of others. You will always benefit from your manners. Reader Dear Reader, You are certainly correct that good manners are very important, but the focus of good manners or etiquette should be on genuine concern for others, not on personal advancement. There is a difference between good manners and etiquette. Good manners are an expression of your inner character by showing genuine kindness, respect, and consideration for others. Etiquette is a set of rules defining how to show respect and consideration by our actions.

Since we humans live closely together in society, good manners and etiquette are meant to help us get along with one another and avoid conflict. In today’s divisive climate, it often seems that some people offend others on purpose, by using insulting language or by using aggressive actions. Perhaps it is because they weren’t taught any better, or perhaps they are just meanminded people.

It is very easy to offend people un intentionally, but such simple gestures as saying hello and smiling, holding the door for someone, and picking up something someone dropped and handing it to them go a long way to making life much more pleasant for most of us. Having general rules of behavior that everybody agrees on helps us put each other at ease and reduces misunderstandings.

If you have a question for Ms. Magnolia, please mail it to P.O. Box 669, Vidalia, GA 30475, or e-mail to

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