Being a child is not easy. Everyone keeps telling what you can do, and what not to do, aunties keep pinching your cheeks, kids at daycare take your toys, and your favorite swing is never free at the playground! With all these complications and problems, it’s no wonder that sometimes you get sad or upset.
Then you need to try hard to remember what Mom and Dad say about etiquette and manners:
Why is so important to be nice, what are nice manners and what does it mean to be ‘polite’ or ‘considerate’?
Arthur Schopenhauer, a very smart man, tried to explain what being nice means :
‘On a cold winter’s day, a group of porcupines wanted to cuddle together to stay warm and keep from freezing. But soon they felt one another’s quills and moved apart. When the need for warmth brought them closer together again, their quills again forced them apart. They were driven back and forth at the mercy of their discomforts until they found the distance from one another that provided both a maximum of warmth and a minimum of pain. In human beings, the emptiness and monotony of the isolated self produces a need for society. This brings people together, but their many offensive qualities and intolerable faults drive them apart again. The optimum distance that they finally find that permits them to coexist is embodied in politeness and good manners. Because of this distance between us, we can only partially satisfy our need for warmth, but at the same time, we are spared the stab of one another’s quills.’
This is exactly the way we should behave – to strive toward helping each other so that we can all feel good! This is why we should be nice, polite and compassionate: so that we can listen to each other, acknowledge the opinions of others, accept and respect the differences, so that we don’t hurt each other… and of course, so that we can be honest, because there is no understanding if we lie to one another!