Today’s lesson — assume the best

There’s an old quote (which, of course, I can’t find a reference for) that is something to the effect that

It’s bad etiquette to use the wrong fork, but even worse etiquette to point out that someone else is using the fork incorrectly.

In other words, yeah it’s not all that great to do the wrong thing inadvertently, but it’s even worse to lord it over people when others are doing something wrong.

In other other words, which fork one uses isn’t really as important (in the long run) as treating people with respect and gentleness.

I think of this now, at this time, when everyone is at their wit’s end. Everyone is over harried, overworked, overstressed, and overwhelmed. Sometimes we make mistakes (I know I do). You might get the wrong present for someone (or the right present for the wrong person), or you may go to a friend’s for dinner and they might put the claret in the brandy glass or some other major social faux pas (well, they can do that any time of year) or serve dessert with the soup spoons.

I tend to sometimes not very successfully try to cut people some slack.  Not only is it the polite thing to do, it keeps your blood pressure low.


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