1. Etiquette Inspirations
3. Making Your Acquaintance
4. Saying “Hi!” Electronically!
5. Basic Good Grammar Is a Skill – and a Courtesy!
6. Thank You!
7. An Attitude of Gratitude
8. “Walk a Mile…”
9. Of Sticks and Stones…
10. When the Wall is So Huge… A Special Note on Bullying
11. Those Essentials: “Please...May I?...Thank you"

12. What About Profanity …?
13. Okay, Sometimes It IS About the Right Fork!
14. “Ta-Dah!” First Impressions
15. Clothes Don’t Make the Young Woman or Man
16. That Summer Job!
17. Nobody’s Perfect!
18. Kindness Has a Long History!
19. Inspired by Our Etiquette of Kindness
20. Final Thoughts

Click on the tabs for each chapter.

Etiquette Inspirations

Why we are learning about The Etiquette of Kindness together!

Etiquette – it’s a strange word, isn’t it? In the short, easy definition, it just means an identified way - or traditionally accepted way - of acting toward other people within our group. Even more simply: etiquette refers to how we treat one another – our behavior toward each other. This fancy-sounding word, etiquette, filtered down to us from Old French words: estiquette, meaning label and estiquier, meaning to attach...

In this chapter we explore:
  • It’s Practical – Usually!
  • Good Etiquette Helps Doors Open!
  • It’s a Tool We Can Use -- or Not!
  • Mindful Kindness!
  • Treating Others as We Believe We’d like to Be Treated


(Or: It's Not All About Me - It Takes Two - or More!)

Communication is alive and vital! It moves, weaves and circulates! Let’s make sure that our communication efforts are honest, kindly and trustworthy; that they carry sincerity of attitude, positive intent and helpful content...!

We can commune-icate – truly connect -- with others! We can learn to be skillful and thorough in our communication; to communicate satisfyingly, happily and honorably with generosity, respect and loving kindness...

We discuss in this chapter:
  • Communication Is a Big Part of Life - And It's Actively Circular!
  • It's an Honor to Communicate in Respect and Consideration!
  • Our Communications Basics!
  • It’s SO Worth the Effort!
  • Role Playing Opportunities

Making Your Acquaintance!

Meeting-and-Greeting: A Basic Life Skill -- and Fun!

Meeting new people is an adventure! Sharing treasured friends and loved-ones by introducing them to each other and creating relaxed, interesting scenarios for meeting-and-greeting is a valuable, learnable talent. With a little awareness and desire, we can become skillful at introductions!

Putting someone at ease in a new situation is a great gift to that person and a skill to learn and “perfect”. We put quotes around perfect because it’s important to remember from the outset that everyone messes up in introductions at times…

Included in this chapter:
  • Usually It’s Simple but Form CAN Be a Big Deal!
  • Body Language Is Super Important!
  • First Things First!
  • Mother is Queen, Dad is King!
  • Introducing Our Friends to Other Friends
  • We Greet, Repeat – and Don’t Shorten or Change!
  • The Name’s the Thing!
  • Name-Recall-Geniuses!
  • Practice and Role Playing Opportunities

Saying “Hi!” Electronically!

Telephone Etiquette, Texting, Online Social Networking, E-Mailing -- All the Ways We E-Communicate!

Being able to communicate easily and quickly is a handy, useful and helpful thing! Since any form of satisfying, successful communication is about sharing courtesy and consideration, as well as information, we want to remember our Etiquette of Kindness skills even when we phone, text and e-mail…!

We cover in this chapter:
  • First Things First: It’s NOT Just About Me!
  • Suggestions for Telephone Etiquette
  • Keeping Our Cell Phones Civil!
  • The Big Turn-Off!
  • One Time NOT to Worry About Someone’s Feelings!
  • We Just Don’t DO These Things!
  • Rude Juggling Acts
  • Oops! Happen
  • The Transparency of Social Networks, Texts and E-Mail!
  • Practice and Role Playing Opportunities

Basic Good Grammar Is a Skill – and a Courtesy!

(And it says a lot about us when we open our mouth to speak!)

“Hey, uh, Dude! Me and you have to uh…you know…go there, man…Umm…Like uh…you know…uh…where’s it at?”
“Don’t worry; me and Jill know where we’re going to.”
“Where are you at now?”
“Him and me aren’t sure where we’re at.”

Oh, yikes -- painful!

… Fair or unfair and like it or not, people do judge us by how we use language…!

Included in this chapter:
  • Badly Used Grammar Creates at Least a Poor First Impression!
  • Give ‘em a Test!
  • Taking on Some Common Grammar Traps (Tips for getting them right – without an English grammar lesson!)
  • Put the Other Guy First!
  • Uh…umm…GIVE ‘EM A REST!
  • Bringing Our Basic Good Grammar All Together – Because We Care!
  • Practice Opportunities

Thank You!

Writing Letters and Notes -- Saying “Thanks!” and “Hello!”

Saying “thank you!” – expressing gratitude -- is an act of thoughtfulness and it’s basic in our Etiquette of Kindness.

When we combine our gratitude to someone with telling them we care about them, we are interested in them and we appreciate them, then saying “thank you” becomes a communication of which we can be proud. This makes us feel good about ourselves...!

This chapter consisders:
  • It’s About the Other Person
  • I Is Not the First Word!
  • Interesting, Thoughtful and Timely!
  • Spelling and Grammar DO Count!
  • Sample Ways to Say “Thank you!” or to Write Casual Notes
  • Practice Opportunities

An Attitude of Gratitude!

The Magic of Living in Thankfulness
(And the Antidote to “I’m bored”!)

Joy is a wonderful thing.
It can be infectious turning our lives into daily experiences of deep happiness, peace, satisfaction and kindness.

One of the main ways to bring joy into our lives is to have an attitude of gratitude – to daily find and name small and large things for which to be grateful, beginning with our first wakefulness in the morning, then continuing during our day and right on through our last moments before sleep…!

In this chapter we discuss:
  • Our Glass: Half Empty or Half Full?
  • Magical Moments
  • Gratitude Makes the Good Things Better!
  • We Take Nothing for Granted
  • Gratitude Puts the Rough Stuff and the Small Stuff In Perspective!
  • Learned or Natural, It’s Common to Most Happy People
  • Boredom Can’t Live Here!
  • The Really Big Thing!
  • Discussion and Practice Opportunities

Walk a Mile…!

That Judgment Trap!

We’ve heard this before: “You can’t really understand what another person is going through (or has gone through) until you walk a mile in their shoes.”

Another way to express this observation on Life could be:
No one can truly understand what another person thinks or feels or what drives their actions or re-actions, because no one can ever really be in another’s head, heart, and life experiences...

In this chapter we consider:
  • We Can’t Be the Other Person!
  • That Vicious Thread
  • We Choose to Mind Our Own Business!
  • There’s a Difference!
  • Bringing It All Together -- The Bottom Line!
  • Discussion Opportunities

Of Sticks and Stones

And Words That Hurt — or Help!

. . .There’s that old rhyme: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.” Ah, but we know that is not true! Words – ours and those of others -- are powerful! They can hurt!

When we choose our words thoughtlessly or when we put them together without care, then hurting, wounding or angering can be the result – and sometimes with long-lasting impact! It happens. . .

In this chapter:
  • Oops! Watch those Words!
  • A Matter of Awareness, Desire, Deciding, Practice!
  • “You always…!” or “You never…!” Watch out for those You Darts!
  • Redeeming the Forgetful or Careless!
  • A Bit of Praise Can Go a Long Way!
  • What’s in a Name? Plenty!
  • Discussion and Role Playing Opportunities

When the Wall Is So Huge

A Special Note on Bullying

Throughout The Etiquette of Kindness, we discuss ways to improve our own actions and how we relate with one another — staying in the positive as we learn skills in treating others as we would like to be treated.

Along with all of this very good stuff, we also unfortunately need to know about something not at all pleasant: how to act when we are confronted with the direct opposite of kindness – bullying...!

Some elements from this chapter:
  • Always Wrong — Always Ugly — Always Destructive
  • No Matter Who…
  • If I Am the Bully…
  • What About Stepping Aside/Ignoring?
  • Our Powerful, Courageous Community of Kindness!
  • Opportunities for Discussion and Contemplation

Those Essentials “Please…” “May I…?” “Thank you…!”

(And Other Important but Simple Ways We Show We Care!)

Three essential phrases: “Please…”, “May I…?” and “Thank you…!” smooth things out for us and for others. They set a cordial, agreeable tone and help bring about cooperation!

When we ask or make a statement using these words, it shows that we care about the other person’s feelings and needs – and not just about what we want at any given time…!

In this chapter:
  • It’s ALWAYS Good to Be Grateful!
  • Those Seemingly-Simple Acts of Kindness and Courtesy
  • Can You Imagine? Not Everyone Welcomes What We Think Is Help!
  • In These Instances Only One Thing Is Correct!
  • Worth Considering
  • Doing Our Best Because We Care!
  • Discussion and Practice Opportunities

What About Profanity, Bad Language or Swear Words In Everyday Communication?

(Surely I’m allowed when I’m really mad?)

Choosing to use profanity, swear words, bad language, offensive, insulting or dirty words is just that: it’s a choice.

That choice always colors how others think of us and whether we can be heard…!

In this chapter:
  • Not Cool but It Sure Can Bring Attention!
  • Throwing Pebbles. . .
  • No One Has a Right to Bring Fear and Upset!
  • …Hey! Things Happen!
  • We Can Make It a Habit – Either Way!
  • Deciding to Use Profanity – As a Part of “Fixing” Situations
  • Perhaps Instead: We Decide NOT to Use Foul, Offensive Language!
  • That Finger-Pointing Accusatory “YOU…!”
  • Partnering with Others In Trust and Respect
  • It’s Not About Being Perfect – It Is About Trying to Choose Kindness – Once Again!
  • Consideration and Discussion Opportunities

Okay, Sometimes It IS About the Right Fork!

A lot of what we’ll need to know about: Dining Skills & Table Setting How-To’s!

There’s no magic to make us look good in a social situation or to help us to feel comfortable or to fit in!

We can’t pull social skills out of a hat at the last moment like some fancy, schmancy rabbit!

It takes a little bit of work and attention to be a competent, confident diner, guest and host!

If we know what to do in particular life and social settings, if we have an idea of what, when and how, then we can always elect to use those skills. We can be confident -- and we can be ready-enough for anything!

It becomes simple…!

In this chapter:
  • Tea with the Queen!
  • Holidays with the President of the US!
  • Cultural Contrasts
  • Western Perspective
  • Dining Together in Our Western Culture (And Practicing Good Habits When We Eat Alone!)
  • What! You Expect Me to Remember All This? Our Dining Etiquette To-Do’s in Likely Order of Need!
  • Laying It All Out! We Always Pay Attention!
  • Serving, Passing, Clearing
  • So Sometimes It Really Is About the Right Fork — And About Creating Dining Adventures Together
  • Practice and Discussion Opportunities


First Impressions (How we present ourselves)

No matter what sort of personality we have, most of us would desire to make what we might consider to be a good first impression.

Like it or not, and whether or not it is fair, kind or generous, those first impressions do make a difference when we meet and greet others. Let’s consider how we might present ourselves as we want to be perceived.

To make certain that we’re all on the same page in what we are meaning here, a little clarification is in order: we’re not talking about impressing others by how cool or pretty or handsome we are, or how expensive or “in” our clothes or accessories or hair style might be. What we are talking about is so much more -- and costs next to nothing! We’ll see how simple the skill of presenting ourselves well can be; we can confidently create our own satisfying first impressions...

In this chapter:
  • It’s Really Basic!
  • Sleep Magic!
  • Get the Good Fuel Our Body Craves – and Thrives On!
  • The Value of Fresh Air, Exercise and Sunshine!
  • Our Top Ten – Plus the Big Two!
  • Ta-dah! We wear a SMILE! We have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE!
  • We Can Always Ask for Assistance!
  • Not to Be Missed!
  • Small Steps Help Make Better Days!
  • Consideration and Practice Opportunities

Clothes Don’t Make the Young Woman or Man

A Smile Sure Does!

With so much concern and attention out there these days on “What to wear?” or on what other people are wearing or about how we (or others!) look, it’s sometimes easy to get lost in appearances!

It’s very good to remember that we can look wonderful in clothing that is clean, attractive, appropriate and perhaps modest in cost -- yet rich in “okayness”!

And, as we mentioned in chapter 14, Ta-dah! First Impressions, a SMILE is key to our presentation, and a smile is the very best thing to wear (of course, along with other appropriate apparel)...!

In this chapter:
  • The Mighty Power of a Smile!
  • The Smile Transformation Tool
  • Then We Mindfully Add Gratitude!
  • Practice and Discussion Opportunities

That Summer Job

A job can be a fun and satisfying experience!

Whether for a few days or a few months, part time or full time, whether large or small, any job is an opportunity for us to learn and to expand a variety of skills. With a job, we can practice good time management, flex our creative talents, enjoy interactions with others and strengthen habits of reliability and responsibility.

Every job we will have in our life will benefit from the positive approaches and good habits that we learn and practice – now!

Our handling of every job is important, so there’s no such thing as “just going to the neighbors to mow their lawn” or “just going out to wash the neighbors’ car” or “only going down the road to do my horse feeding job!” Every time we go out in public, how we present ourselves shows…

Covered in this chapter:
  • It Begins with the Presentation!
  • Get the Info!
  • Target Time!
  • We Don’t Agree to the Impossible to Try to Please Others!
  • Logic, Target Time and the Possible!
  • Setting up for Success!
  • Every Job Counts!
  • Practice and Consideration Opportunities

Nobody's Perfect!

Or, What to Do When We Mess Up! (Because it will happen!)

No matter how hard we try, there are times when we mess up!

As human beings, each of us has instances when we feel – or know – that we have messed up!

Occasionally we forget something we shouldn’t, or we actually hurt someone’s feelings or are thoughtless or shockingly unkind. Yikes!

It happens…

In this chapter we cover:
  • “What was I thinking?”
  • Kindness and Consideration Today Creates Kinder Tomorrows!
  • First Step to Reset: Gratitude!
  • Next Step: Apology!
  • Our Apologies Aren’t Always Accepted, But…
  • And When We Forget – or Just Procrastinate Into Total Embarrassment?
  • Those Embarrassing Little Yikes Moments!
  • Oh, My Gosh!
  • Opportunities!
  • Contemplation and Practice Opportunities

Kindness Has a Long History!

We are in excellent company in learning skills and courtesies all centered on our best efforts to treat others kindly and fairly!

Since the earliest civilizations, religious people and philosophers, as well as just ordinary people of good hearts and intentions, have tried to define an ideal universal path of fair, livable choices for human interaction.

In countries and cultures around the world, the simple premise of seeking to treat others as you would have them treat you has been determined to be a prime guideline for personal actions. . .

In this chapter:
  • Platinum-Silver-Gold
  • Circulating Kindness!
  • It’s Simple! Not Always Easy -- But So Worthwhile!
  • Always Learning in Kindness
  • Research and Discussion Opportunities

Inspired by Our Etiquette of Kindness!

Words for Possible Contemplation and Discussion

(and many more word suggestions...) 

In this chapter we find:
  • A lengthy listing of words to inspire Contemplation and Discussion Opportunities. Add others! Find ways to make them and the qualities they inspire, alive and vital in daily living!

Final Thoughts

(Because I think you’re terrific!)
Some excerpts: 

As I said at the beginning of our Etiquette of Kindness journey, “Who would have guessed that there could be such passion hidden in etiquette!” But, indeed that is what I’ve found to be the case! In my estimation, there’s nothing more exciting in Life than to experience people joining together to make good things happen for themselves, for others and for their surroundings! And, that’s precisely what we do in our Etiquette of Kindness…

...Along with our super-serious subjects, we’ve had some laughs and gained skills in everyday endeavors of making life smoother, more fun and more enjoyable for ourselves and for others…

…We’ve certainly learned which fork to choose for what…

…So, my young friends, I think you’re terrific! You’re strong of heart and of mind, and you’ve got what it takes to live our Etiquette of Kindness! Do your best in everything! Be grateful! Enjoy! Gain skills, be kindly, show compassion -- have fabulous lives and be a light to your world! Leave a legacy of love in your footsteps!

I wish us all the very best in our daily adventures of choosing a path of kindness; for one good thing flows into another and another…and who knows where our actions of good intentions may lead us...?