it’s time to be civil (20)


#11. Mind your body. … Be ready to make little grooming-related sacrifices for the sake of those around you. If you carpool or use public transportation, don’t wear strong perfume or aftershave lotions. You don’t want to overwhelm your fellow riders. About perfumes in general, there are those who dislike them or are allergic to them. Make sure that your wearing perfume at work is not a problem for your coworkers. …

“No one will be physically closer to you for a longer time than your companion, your spouse, and your family. Make sure that your body care is such that it adds to their pleasure in being with you. Let’s disabuse ourselves of the rather common notion that although we are expected to be well groomed in public, there is nothing wrong with a little private slovenliness. This is part of a larger assumption that good manners may be forgotten when we are with those closest to us. On the contrary, being civil to them is one of the most concrete ways we show them that we love them. Love is not simply made of feeling. Real love is made of doing.”

Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni (St. Martin’s Press, 2002); p. 82,83

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