'When you speak to people',' said Mum,
'You show them the courtesy of eye contact,
Clear diction and good sense.
You do not fuss with your clothes or your hair or your nails.
You do not shuffle your feet as if anxious to escape.
Keep your fingers to yourself until a handshake upon departing -
If such is deemed appropriate.
Some folks call this behaviour 'courtesy', others 'etiquette'.
'Civilities' is a fine word.
I call programmed proprieties the 'power of grace'.
They acknowledge and accept
That no one is better than you and no one is less.
You interact as equals.
A gracious person is a pearl among people.
Anyone can perfect such social skill
Until it is as natural as breathing.
And utterly instinctive with anyone
Whom you will ever encounter - anywhere - any time -
Under any circumstance.
Equality is understood and respect is reciprocal.
This propriety of contact is exercised
With much finesse
Among the Eastern cultures of the world
As effortlessly as breathing.
It is a beautiful thing to see, and experience.
Oh, just a reminder:
Washing is to keep clean, not get clean!'
And these words drip down from heaven