Book of Courtesy: The Art of Living with Yourself and Others

Overview

"Always remember that during your lifetime, the rules of etiquette may change, but courtesy and good manners will always be important."— from Chapter III, Daily Courtesies

Since the early 1900s the students of a small Dominican School in Northern California received a little book containing simple rules for "the art of living." Written by Sr. Mary Mercedes, O.P., this handbook shows how small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can help us regain the joy of living. This timeless book combines compelling epigraphs...

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Overview

"Always remember that during your lifetime, the rules of etiquette may change, but courtesy and good manners will always be important."— from Chapter III, Daily Courtesies

Since the early 1900s the students of a small Dominican School in Northern California received a little book containing simple rules for "the art of living." Written by Sr. Mary Mercedes, O.P., this handbook shows how small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can help us regain the joy of living. This timeless book combines compelling epigraphs from a diverse pool of great writers and thinkers (including Homer, Oglala Sioux Chief Flying Hawk, and Eleanor Roosevelt) with hints on everything from the art of introductions to suggestions on how to be a good guest, write a letter of condolence, or set a dinner table.

As the world becomes increasingly indifferent to social rules, the sense of etiquette that we once took for granted is fast disappearing. A Book of Courtesy provides a charming, beneficial antidote to this dilemma, restoring the Golden Rule to its rightful place of honor and proving that good etiquette never goes out of style. Here is a practical, reliable guide to proper conduct in every situation.

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Editorial Reviews

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This book of timeless advice on getting along with others -- written at the turn of the 20th century by a nun -- has been the official graduation gift of the San Domenico School for decades. In an age where crassness often masquerades as informality, these guidelines to considerate behavior are invaluable for young people about to enter the real world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062517586
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.37 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sister Mary Mercedes, O.P. (1871-1965), a Dominican Sister, was a teacher for more than fifty years. She wrote the original Book of Courtesy in 1910 for use at the Dominican Convent Upper School in San Rafael, and later at the San Domenico School in San Anselmo. To honor their fiftieth reunion and the sesquicentennial of the Dominican Sisters in California, the Class of 1950 — most of them grandmothers, all of them experienced in the joys and sorrows of life and profoundly influenced by this book — revised Sister Mercedes' original volume in the hope of passing on its wisdom to their grandchildren, who inherit a world sorely in need of her message.

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Read an Excerpt

"Always remember that during your lifetime, the rules of etiquette may change, but courtesy and good manners will always be important."

"You may not think living with others is an art but it is the finest and most difficult of arts. By learning it early in life you save yourself many unpleasant experiences."

"Be careful not to hold your knife and fork like weapons. It is perfectly proper to talk with the knife and fork in your hands, but do not wave around a fork or any other utensil, with or without food on it. The knife should never be raised more than an inch or two above the plate."

Cheerfulness and good spirits allow a person to live with a positive attitude; no one enjoys a grumbler or complainer. A positive outlook makes him a pleasant companion."

"Avoid wounding the feelings of others by inconsiderate remarks or allusions or by repeating unkind criticisms you have heard. No one appreciates hearing disagreeable things about one's self."

"It is not a duty to be brutally honest."

"There is no excuse for appearing on someone's doorstep without telephoning first to inquire if your visit would be convenient. Even if a friend has invited you to stop by at any time, be sensitive to his or her mood and needs whenever you do, and take special care that you conclude your visit well before mealtime, so that you won't put him or her in the position of having to feed you."

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