Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Tuesday morning blather about standards and tact

I'm experiencing a growing fondness for this blog: no pre-meditated posts or themes and reputations to uphold, and I can lose myself in Fragonard's brilliance while typing and leisurely sipping breakfast tea. No one to impress by careful choice of words and phrases, nor any structures to maintain. It's akin to that moment you take off the corset and let your belly flop out a little before pulling it in to be comfortably presentable. A breath of fresh air in the most unromantic sense.

Speaking of which, do you suppose we all entertain fantasies and act accordingly?

A preconception of our ideal selves, lovers, and friends. Of course, we are not impartial to reality and have enough decency in our idealism to accept our loved ones as they are - hopefully we all do - while still encouraging them to become the best version of themselves. The latter, if done at all, should be done with a sense of respect and tenderness to the feelings of inadequacy the individual might be experiencing.

People often forget this.

This 2016 seems a year of idealism with vegans campaigning against others, the "spiritual" people correcting other religions, and, on the other side, conservative persons condemning all things new, and people like Trump making fools of themselves - not even to touch upon South Africa's politics, oh my. Yet, what we all tend to forget is that people are human beings no matter what they believe.

And all beings want to be valued. Kindness above being right. Even for the best reasons, "being right" can translate to an egoist desire. Moreover, if we were to force our opinions on the delicate minds of others, we should be sure to experience rebellion or empty submission. You must acquire the skill, as the saying goes, to sell ice to Eskimos - not in the way to trick them, but to make them passionate about something familiar, but that they're missing. In this way, tact and etiquette truly means everything and that some famous saying, "If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor," is either sorely misunderstood or abused and entirely incorrect. Society has built etiquette for a reason, and it, in turn, has built society. Therefore, if you want to be effective in your endeavours, you should do your best to remember the simple rules of politeness.

What else is important? I see people very rarely argue with persons possessing these few things: proper conduct, elegance, grace, and excellence. Unless they are jealous of their attributes, which it is difficult not to be. There is a certain magnetic glow about a person with these characteristics.

Perhaps I'll figure it out some day soon.

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Maria Gall