Some children seem to have an inbuilt ability to say please and thank you. Is this drilled into them by their parents or is the ability to be polite simply a part of the DNA?
You run through from your study where you have been grappling with the affairs of the world. You are sprinting in response to your child’s urgent cries for help. Your heart is beating and your brow is flushed. You fall panting to your knees beside your child and stretch your hand out. You gasp: “Yes dear. What can I do to help?”
“Is six times nine fifty four?”
Several thoughts flash through your mind. Then a fleeting thought enters your mind. It is a mere wisp of a memory. You recall the poem by Harry Graham called `Politeness’.
My cousin John was most polite;
He led shortsighted Mrs Bond,
By accident, one winter's night
Into a village pond.
Her life perhaps he might have saved
But how genteelly he behaved!
Each time she rose and waved to him
He smiled and bowed and doffed his hat;
Thought he, although I cannot swim,
At least I can do that -
And when for the third time she sank
He stood bareheaded on the bank.
Be civil, then, to young and old;
Especially to persons who
Possess a quantity of gold
Which they might leave to you.
The more they have, it seems to me,
The more polite you ought to be.