A Theory of Behaviour

A Theory of Behaviour

December 16, 2013 By Janko Predovic

“Etiquette” is the code that governs the expectations of social behaviour. It is an unwritten code, which generally evolves from written rules. It reflects a theory of behaviour. Like “culture”, “etiquette” is a word that has gradually grown pluralized in a multi-ethnic society with many clashing expectations. Your various etiquettes (and sometimes lack thereof) go a long way toward defining the kind of person you are.Port Credit Academy of Martial Arts, Black Belt Word of the Week (Dec. 16-22, 2013)

I found that blog post very interesting…

Some show etiquette in certain places but not others; some show etiquette in certain moods and not others; some show etiquette to certain people but not others.

But if etiquette is a theory of behaviour, and defines who we are, what does it say about us if we fluctuate unpredictably between etiquette and lack thereof in our daily dealings with others? That is to say, if etiquette really is a theory of behaviour, reflects our upbringing and culture, and defines the kind of people we are, why do its manifestations in our daily lives vary so much and so often? Certainly, we do not “change the people we are” as much or as often as our behaviour changes from day to day, situation to situation, or exchange to exchange.

Perhaps this means that while we may from time to time act courteously, or act with good manners, or act with etiquette, we have a long way to go before we can consider ourselves to be courteous” or to be “well-mannered”. We must go even further if we wish to be “etiquettal”.

To those ends, let us ask ourselves whether the level of etiquette we display daily with those we care about (and even with those we don’t care that much about) really reflects our upbringing and culture. Let us consider how we act and speak before we do so and let us remember that each of our acts and words may very well define forever who we are to the people with whom we interact, especially if they are people we may never see or speak to again.

This approach will go a long way not only to helping you resolve the disputes in your life, but also will help you be a better person to those you care about. Not only that, it will leave with everyone else a better impression about your culture, upbringing and the person you really are.

“Etiquette is the discipline of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is discipline. It is honour.” — Christopher Doyle, Kyoshi, Port Credit Academy of Martial Arts.

This topics brings to mind three airport workers I saw on the tarmac at Okinawa Airport a few years ago. I was about to take off and leave the island when I snapped this photograph just before the airplane started moving. I will never see any of the people in this photo again, but I’ll remember for many years that as the plane started to accelerate, all three of them bowed and stayed bowed until we were up in the air. Certainly, perhaps initially something I construed as a reflection of Okinawan culture, but now appears more so a reflection of Okinawan etiquette.

Okinawa Airport workers wave and then bow to each airplane full of passengers

Okinawa Airport workers line up, wave and bow to each airplane full of passengers as it prepares to take off.

And whether you are a luggage handler at a tiny island airport, or run the United States of America, you are never too important to display etiquette.

U.S. President Barack Obama is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko upon arrival at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo November 14, 2009.

U.S. President Barack Obama is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko upon arrival at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo November 14, 2009.

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Martial Arts offers tremendous benefits in mental, physical and spiritual health for all families. FAMILIES THAT TRAIN TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER!

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