Another event we commemorate next weekend, the 100th year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, has similar strains of sacrifice ringing through it, not distinct from Good Friday, but rather an outpouring of it. Amidst the horrific tragedy of the ship's sinking, was the astounding sacrifice made for the lives of many women and children. "Women and children first" was the decree set forth by Captain Smith. It was not every person for himself, clambering to secure a precious seat in the insufficient number of life boats. Instead, "my life for yours" was courageously acted upon that day. In the certain face of death, many, and especially men, chose to die so that others might live to tell the story.
Thinking about the nature of these sacrifices, I am reminded that this same truth is the foundation of etiquette and living a well-mannered life. The every day ways in which we treat one another are an opportunity to practice "my life for yours." Putting others first and regarding others as you would wish to be regarded, is this same principle of glorious sacrifice lived out in daily life.
At the table we see how these thoughtful, sacrificial manners come to life as we serve one another:
· Wait for your host or hostess to begin the meal and do not begin eating at will.
· Honor the eldest woman by serving her first.
· Be a good conversationalist by being more interested in the other person.
· Don’t take the last serving of a dish unless it’s offered to you.
· Serve others before you serve yourself.
· Be certain to thank your host and hostess for the meal with sincere appreciation.