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Re: Courtesy, again

Poster: jonesj@SunBelt.Net (Phillip Jones)

>     WE MUST CHANGE THIS PARADIGM.  We must learn to deal with issues of 
>     discourtesy on the grounds that they are discourteous?  That way lies 
>     the slippery slope to oblivion.  We must learn to police ourselves so 
>     that our neighbors have no need to call our honor into question.  We 
>     must learn that discussion is never so dangerous as refusal to face 
>     problems head-on, and that it is better to address those problems 
>     sooner than later.  We must learn to challenge the sin but not the 
>     sinner -- to tell the one whose actions we dislike that his *actions* 
>     were unacceptable, not that *he* is unacceptable.  We must, as a 
>     community, take responsibility for helping wrongdoers understand what 
>     they did that was offensive, why it was offensive, and how they could 
>     improve their behavior.

Amen, good Lady. Many of us are strangers in a strange land, unaware
that we are transgressing against custom and so shocking the local
populace. Please, If I transgress, correct me. There is a way to do so
gently and kindly, but even a brusque corection would be preferable to
letting me carry on in the ignorant belief that everything I do is
"right" because that is the way we did it back home.

And I believe that the brunt of this duty falls naturally to those of
you who have been around for a while. Many of us don't know anything
of the society except what we've seen here in Atlantia in the past few
years, and some old hands tell us that that atmosphere is but a poor
reflection of the glories of the past. If so, please teach me, so that
I may enjoy those glories in the future.

Another aspect of this conversation is that Right Action must be
rewarded on a constant, and even trivial, level. Not only must we be
vigilant in our watch for mis-behaviour, but equally alert for those
small goodnesses which too often go un-noticed. One Jacques Aberron of
our kingdom has made it his custom to bring with him a nice prize,
which he regularly awards for an act of kindness or courtesy. Vivat,
and let his behaviour be exemplary!

Phillip Bell
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