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LET’S TALK MANNERS By Lynn Wexler Not long ago, the word 'tolerant' meant bearing or putting up with someone or something not especially liked. Nowadays however the word has been redefined to insinuate that all values, beliefs, lifestyles, and truth claims should be viewed and accepted equally. In short it’s called ‘political correctness’. Denying this makes a person intolerant and thus worthy of contempt. On the flip side it is clearly ignorant and inappropriate to be blatantly insensitive toward differences. What’s an aspiring well mannered person to do? Let’s begin by defining ‘ in tolerance’ and applying it to social morays. According to Webster it means an irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion. Synonyms are bigotry , prejudice , or dislike . ’Social morays’ constitute all of the attitudes and customs we assume. It's how we've been taught to act, think, and behave, and the roles we've been taught to accept, since birth. Good manners means we extend graciousness, respectfulness, civility, deference and politeness towards others. So where do tolerance and manners intersect along the line of social decency? They intersect at the point of judgment. The way in which we judge determines whether we are positive or negative, tolerant or intolerant toward others. Exercised properly, our judgment corresponds to good manners, and
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