Of Courtesy, it is much less
Than Courage of Heart or Holiness,
Yet in my Walks it seems to me
That the Grace of God is in Courtesy.
On Monks I did in Storrington fall,
They took me straight into their Hall;
I saw Three Pictures on a wall,
And Courtesy was in them all.
The first the Annunciation;
The second the Visitation;
The third the Consolation,
Of God that was Our Lady’s Son.
The first was of St. Gabriel;
On Wings a-flame from Heaven he fell;
And as he went upon one knee
He shone with Heavenly Courtesy.
Our Lady out of Nazareth rode –
It was Her month of heavy load;
Yet was her face both great and kind,
For Courtesy was in Her Mind.
The third it was our Little Lord,
Whom all the Kings in arms adored;
He was so small you could not see
His large intent of Courtesy.
Our Lord, that was Our Lady’s Son,
Go bless you, People, one by one;
My Rhyme is written,
my work is done.
I’ve found myself in several conversations recently about the lack of very elementary good manners which are sadly evident everywhere these days. Simple things like failing to acknowledge an email or a text, or to return a telephone call. I doubt very much if any of the people guilty of such rudeness would dream of ignoring someone who spoke them in their physical presence, but they seem to think it’s acceptable to ignore people who write or telephone. I can’t see much difference. I’m not talking about people who don’t reply immediately. I’m referring to those who don’t reply… at all!
For the record, I remove that minority of contacts who ignore my messages from my email address book – it’s a response based on the age-old adage: don’t get mad, get even! But note: I won’t be naming anyone in this thread, and I don’t want anyone else to do so either.
The focus of the discussion is this: did Hilaire Belloc get it right – IS the grace of God found in courtesy? Or is he confusing “grace” with social convention?