Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 1919. COUTRESY.
The ; comparison.^ between tlie manners of Colonials and those of '."' Londoners—to the, ,disr advantage of the. former—made at a 'recent meeting of the Christchurch Peace Processions Committee,was too generalto be readily endorsed by those who have had experience of both peoples; courtesy' and rudeness being found- in all- communities. Yet few visitors would deny tnat the charm of many inhabitants of the overseas Dominions would be enhanced if they could overcome their apparent belief that to be civil is to be servile. Courtesy was" once defined as the oil on the wheels of the, daily round, whilst another wit declared that courtesy is like an air-cushion, there is not' much in it. but it eases-the jolts. Attempts of Jack to prove that he is as good as his master; too; often' become proofs that he can be as bad as the other fellow, and as ill-manners are very infectious, a state of affairs arises >that is harmful to all. The more democratic a country is, the more [needful is the cultivation of courtesy, because unless it is cultivated, it will have small chance of survival. The faults of the aristocracy are too well known in such countries as this to need detailed ■specification, but no just men will assert that, as a class, aristocrats lack good manners. This has often been their redeeming feature, and the influence of such refinement has permeated all classes, and is one reason why inhabitants of the older settled lands in the Northern Hemisphere exhibit a politeness not too common in the newer countries. No question of wealth enters into the matter, the poor and the rich alike could both be courteous if they wished. It was asserted at the Christchurch meeting that ''"every Colonial wanted to get in front of the other fellow,'' but there are better ways of 'doing this than by a direct push. A man may not be any the worse man for" being a "rough diamond," but those who come into contact with liim suffer if such roughness is unnecessarily pronounced. Courtesy costs nothing, but it should not, therefore, be despised as valueless, for v as a matter of fact, no country can fully succeed without' it. It is a necessity in commerce, and a tonic in politics. Perhaps one reason why so many Australasian Parliaments fail to: obtain public respect is because the members' standard of mutual politeness is low. Nobody yearns for the exaggerated deportment, bowing and scraping of .earlier days to be revived, but boprishness is even more objectionable. Britons overseas have developed many, excellent characteristics,, and have given the Motherland valuable lessons. They should not, however, permit self-dependence to become self-assertion, nor should they despise those little niceties of speech and demeanour, without which this life would be drab and harsh. Courtesy ,is a twiceblessed virtue, and, like the sense of'humour, is not possessed by all who. claim to have it.