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465. Value of Good Manners

Anything good is of value.  Some people are uniformly charming and others are not.  When a new chief takes over, his manners will be decided upon mostly in the first few days.  Manners are of the surface and matter little when issues of importance arise.  Still, real good manners have great value for one's career.  Speaking about the stale customs of the society, someone said, "On birthdays everyone wishes ‘Happy birthday to you'. It is insipid and stale, but on my own birthday I have found it valuable and inspiring, knowing full well it is just a custom. When someone does not so wish, it constitutes a grievance." India, particularly Indian commerce, will take strides if only it acquires good manners in trade.  To fill an order in time, to acknowledge an order with thanks, not to send what is not ordered, to keep the customer informed of the despatch, to despatch the documents in time, and taking care all the documents are there are all SMALL matters, but foreign buyers know how deficient the Indian traders are in these matters.

Such deficiencies lead to the loss of customers.  One learns manners at home, at the school and the college.  An American diplomatic official, having met an economic expert of his country arranged for a seminar of Development Issues at an old university.  The professors who were invited had not the courtesy to listen to the speaker, but started talking among themselves so loudly that the speaker could not be heard.  Almost everyone in the audience took pleasure in telling the chief guest how India had been exploited by the British - a subject not related to the topic - and how he had no right to speak of the development of India which was their country and of which they knew more than anyone.  The speaker was speechless, and the organiser was in despair.  The seminar was over without the chief guest ever delivering his address.  The diplomat confided to his guest speaker, " I will not put you to this embarrassment again. I am sorry. I shall not repeat this mistake of inviting the display of the manners of university professors".

Having invited an Aurovillian, a similar exhibition of manners was displayed by a lawyer member of a Lions club.  The speaker was interrupted at each sentence, provoking him to say, "I can speak for 17 hours in spite of such interruptions". Manners are valuable.  Ordinary men with no special abilities have risen to world fame solely on the strength of their exceedingly good manners.

story | by Dr. Radut