On Saying Please

On Saying Please

 

Q.1      Law does not do so much to make social interaction sweet and smooth as to do the good manners.

Or       “Discourtesy is not a legal offence.” Discuss.

Or       Why did the liftman throw the passenger out of the lift?

 

In this essay, the writer tells us that there is no legal punishment against discourtesy and bad manners because they are not legal offences. Law does not do so much to make social interaction sweet and smooth as to do the good manners. No law compels us to be civil or courteous to others. Law can punish one for some physical offence only. It can punish a thief, a burglar or one who physically attacks us. We can’t box people’s ears for misbehaving with us or being discourteous to us.

The writer gives the example of a liftman to clarify this point. Once a passenger who wanted to go to the top of a building said “Top” to the liftman. The liftman threw him out of his lift because he expected of him to say “Top please”. It means that the liftman punished the passenger for being discourteous to him.

The liftman was fined for throwing the passenger out of the lift because he was not justified in doing so. The liftman was legally at fault in throwing the passenger out of the lift. The passenger was morally at fault on not saying “Please” to him. Therefore he was not legally punishable, but the liftman, on the other hand, was legally punishable as he had physically attacked the passenger. Hence he was fined.

 

Q.2: “If bad manners are infectious, so also are good manners.”  Elaborate.

 

Manners are not laws but they have a hold on our lives like laws. The writer makes a comparison between good and bad manners.  He says that bad manners of one person influence others and make them also rude and ill-tempered. Similarly, good manners of one person also affect others and make them polite and kind. “Saying Please” is one of the good manners and show courtesy and politeness of the speaker. Good and bad manners spread quickly from one person to the other like a contagious disease. As we live in a society the ways and manners of people are bound to affect others.

In this connection the writer gives the example of a bus conductor. One day the writer boarded a bus without any money in his pockets. He told the conductor that he would not pay the fare. He was afraid that the conductor would make him get off the bus contemptuously. But he was surprised when the good-mannered conductor gave him the ticket and told him to pay the fare next time. The writer was greatly pleased with his attitude. On some other day the conductor trampled on the writer’s foot. He immediately said “Sorry sir”. The writer excused him for being courteous. He had won the writer’s sympathy. His passengers could not help being nice and polite to him. Therefore, the writer has rightly said that good or bad manners are like infections that travel from person to person leaving its sweet or bitter taste in the environment

 

Q.3:     How did the writer feel and behave when he discovered while in Bus that he had no money on him?

Or       How did the bus conductor win the hearts of his passengers?

Or       Our good manners prove that respect others regardless of the  station or status. Elaborate.

 

The writer lays emphasis on the importance of being courteous, polite and civil to others. By saying “Please” or “Thank you” we can win people’s hearts. We can befriend others by simply uttering such words as cost nothing.  In this context he relates the story of a bus conductor who had won the hearts of his passengers and writer’s with his good manners and politeness.

In this connection the writer gives the example of a bus conductor. One day the writer boarded a bus without any money in his pockets. He told the conductor that he would not pay the fare. He was afraid that the conductor would make him get off the bus contemptuously. But he was surprised when the good-mannered conductor gave him the ticket and told him to pay the fare next time. The writer was greatly pleased with his attitude. On some other day the conductor trampled on the writer’s foot. He immediately said “Sorry sir”. The writer excused him for being courteous. He had won the writer’s sympathy. A blind man often travelled by his bus. The conductor not only helped him get down easily but also conducted him across the road. He behaved with the old as a son, with the children as father and with the young as a jolly fellow. By travelling in his bus the passengers learnt courtesy and good manners.  He taught to respect other regardless of the station or status.

 

Q:4     Write a note on the sweetness of Lord Chesterfield .

Or       Why does the writer recommend the story of Chesterfield to the liftman ‘On saying please’? (P.U. 2007) or

Or       How can we spread good manners ?

 

Manners are not laws but they have a hold on our lives like laws. The writer says that bad manners of one person influence others and make them also rude and ill-tempered. Similarly, good manners of one person also affect others and make them polite and kind. “Saying Please” is one of the good manners and show courtesy and politeness of the speaker. Good and bad manners spread quickly from one person to the other like a contagious disease. Bad manners spread by behaving badly with an ill mannered person and good manners spread by ignoring the bad behaviour of a rude person. The writer says it is always better to answer a frown with a smile to make an ill-mannered person feel ashamed of his conduct

When liftman throws out the discourteous person out of his lift, the writer recommends the story of Chesterfield’s goodness and asks the liftman to be inspired by his good conduct. He says, Lord Chesterfield, on one rainy day, was passing through a muddy street. The path near the wall was rather dry and safe. He wanted to walk on the dry path but the man who was coming from the opposite side being very rude refused to leave the dry place and said “I never give the wall to a scoundrel”. Lord Chesterfield did not take it ill and said, “I always do”. This showed the good breeding of Lord Chesterfield. The liftman would agree that Chesterfield’s revenge was much sweeter than if he had flung the fellow into mud