Continuing the conversation on etiquette with a final excerpt from the Ladies Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness:
"Politeness, being based upon real kindness of heart, cannot exist where there is selfishness or brutality to warp its growth. It is founded upon love of the neighbor, and a desire to be loved, and to show love. Thus, where such pure, noble feelings do not exist, the mere forms of politeness become hypocracy and deceit."
Yesterday, I promised to wrap up the conversation with my own thoughts about how this relates to afternoon tea. On the first day, I was lamenting that our society has lost something and it has diminished us. That something is politeness. Not just the outward facade of politeness, ("Yes, Ma'am" and "No, Sir") still seen in parts of the country; rather, true politeness as described in the book--based on the condition of the heart.
Etiquette and politeness are bound together because the first dictates that some form of the latter be employed. Afternoon tea is a great vehicle to teach the basics of etiquette, to discuss the concept of true politeness, and then, to practice hospitality.
It's not too late to reverse the course of our self-centered society. Start the trasformation. Invite a young person to tea.