Etiquette: The Outcome of
Kindness, Wisdom, and
Common Sense

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Everything is different.  Situations, contexts, and relationships are in flux.  Each day of the pandemic brings new information and challenges to our sense of reality, what’s real and true.

But humankind has not changed.  Each of us has a built-in capability for sharing kindness.  And when that kindness is genuine, any differences in belief, interest or otherwise, is mitigated, even forgotten.

Etiquette assists us all in finding ways to be kind.  In fact, etiquette is the outcome of kindness, wisdom, and common sense.

The Kindest of Rules

In an archived article about etiquette in the Sacramento Daily Union, June 22, 1890, this statement is defining:
“Etiquette laws are the kindest and best of all laws, and they often have more power to restrain people from a display of temper and rudeness than any moral law.”

Though written over a century ago, the above statement is just as relevant today.  Especially considering the fear, and even panic, we may be feeling now. 

No matter your opinion or beliefs regarding issues and situations we face during this pandemic, etiquette works to bring us together in our efforts to get through the challenges we are all experiencing:

  • It helps us suspend judgement of others and extend an attitude of understanding for words said or decisions made.
  • It creates ways for us to reach out to loved ones – or even acquaintances – in need, or simply to check in.
  • It extends respect for space needed by ourselves and those we encounter in stores and other public places.

Kindness Begets Kindness

One of the most amazing and heart-warming things I’ve witnessed recently, and I’m sure you have as well, is that regardless of social distancing, we humans still find ways to show kindness to other people.

It’s a timeless human story, this innate connection we share with one another.  Whether the distance between us is short or long, we always find a way to overcome it. 

Reaching Out

  • We check in on each other by phone, video, text, email and social media.
  • Cards in the mail or sent electronically extend words of the heart and are always welcome. 
  • Businesses check on their clients and offer help as best they can.
  • We remember birthdays and other celebrations and virtually “call on” those who are sick. 

Shared Creativity

  • Creative videos showing versions of being kind, wishing others well, or substituting a desired experience like this one.   And this actor and his family have started a network filled with good news
  • Mask-making family members sharing their crafts with friends, mail carriers, delivery people, and caregivers.
  • Picture albums of memories shared online with friends and family members.
  • Family and group meetings via video conferencing.

Offering Help

  • People who are more mobile offer to shop for those less mobile.
  • Extending financial assistance for people who have been laid off of work.
  • Facilitating helpful discussions online.
  • Some businesses and institutions are sending out optimistic and hopeful articles and news of future services.

Even with physical social distancing, what we admire and appreciate about human kindness is the nourishing sense that reciprocity can flourish.  People are just wired to be friendly, generous, and considerate.  And best of all - it’s contagious!

“Kindness is the parent of Kindness.” 
~ Adam Smith

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