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Fucking Good Manners

While the title of this book, Fucking Good Manners is amusing, the “F” word is used four hundred and seventy-five times throughout the text. That is about four hundred and seventy times too many. It distracts from the message and breaks the flow of presentation. However, that would be the only criticism of the contents, the message is important and current, in today’s society.

Simon Griffin makes a point when he says good manners are not going to solve the world’s great problems. However, they do demand respect for other people. Consideration in listening to another point of view, and quietly digesting it for a response, is better than dismissing it or shouting. Think about this in the schoolyard and in Parliament House! He notes that how you behave in private should be quite different to a public presence. Cultural differences emerge; in Japan excessive eye contact is seen as rudeness, but in the USA, it is deemed as courteous.

Manners have changed from times past, and Simon takes us back to Moses and the ten commandments. He then moves through the centuries and explains why certain customs developed. Later came the code of Chivalry, where respect for others and being brave and generous was a noble ambition. Courtly manners were necessary for survival, and developed in the court of Kings. The historical perspective of acceptable manners is interesting.

When we leave our house, we are entering a shared space. We interact with people in many ways and if we can do this pleasantly with people who also share this space, life will be easier for all of us. Helping someone cross the road, or opening a door for someone, or often just smiling, can encourage a positive feeling. Just as we have an impact on the environment by being alive, so we impact on the people around us by our very presence.

Griffin writes about our behaviour and attitude in places such as shops and cinemas, the workplace and on social media. It is a timely reminder that we are not the most important being in the world, and lack of consideration for others should not be a way of life. This is an excellent reference book and so important in today’s society, where many people have not even thought about how annoying their phone conversation might be to others.

AuthorSimon Griffin
PublisherIcon Books
ISBN9781785785511
Websitehttps://www.allenandunwin.com
DistributorAllen and Unwin
ReleasedNovember 2019