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 Food For Thought 

Photography by: Roger Ruth Photography

Throughout history, practically every culture and civilization acquired and cultivated their own sets of laws and rules of propriety, thus maintaining a standard by which to judge a person’s character and behavior towards their fellow woman (or man, for that matter). Each culture's differences can be seen within the diverse rules of salutations,
entertaining, and interactions, just to name a few. One of the most prevalent places to view these differences is at the dining table. For instance, in many Asian cultures, it is of the utmost disrespect to leave a pair of chopsticks standing in a bowl of rice. Some European and Polynesian countries consider a belch after dining an applaud to the host’s culinary skill, and yet in other places, to burp at the dinner table would rank somewhere near a capital offense, as far as good manners are concerned. These are only a couple of examples from the seemingly boundless array of culturally accepted proprieties and faux pas while dining. Supreme Court
Justice, Clarence Thomas, believes that, “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”S And although his conduct has been at best debatable at times, his words of wisdom ring true: good manners, or kindness and consideration for others, will take you further down the path to success than rudeness or ambivalence ever could.
In celebration of this month’s theme, “Doors,” we will do a little knocking ourselves, (perhaps even some banging) as we open doors to discover how and why good manners have carried such importance in the way we view our Earth-mates. We will be analyzing what traits and characteristics truly make a "lady" or a "gentleman," and if striving to attain such a status is of any significance these days. Come with us as we sojourn to discover if the late Emily Post, America’s deceased, yet still reigning etiquette expert, was correct when she said, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners no matter which fork you use.” Now that’s food for thought.