My mother, sister and I enjoy watching westerns such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Big Valley, and The Rifleman. In a godless, feminist-soaked, techno-crazed America, it’s nice to go back to an 1800s America when God, male leadership, and simplistic living ruled the nation.
Of course these television shows are only depictions, however, they have sparked a desire in me to learn more about a forgotten art.
The art of etiquette, good manners, and being a lady.
Recently, when I began my research on these subjects, I didn’t know where to start or where to look. So, I did what everyone else does when they need a random question answered.
I googled it! 😀
When I searched “how to be a lady”, I learned the word etiquette, which is:
“…a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.” – Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia)
I decided to research the history of etiquette and I learned this:
“Many of today’s etiquette rules came from the 1600’s French Royal Court and were adopted by other societies in Europe and around the world. In the nineteenth century Victorian era in the United States, etiquette was a way for social classes to separate themselves and, before the American Civil War, excluded non-whites, immigrants and children.” – Essential Etiquette (History of Etiquette)
After reading different articles, I came to the conclusion that these statements are true:
Etiquette may be wielded as a social weapon. The outward adoption of the superficial mannerisms of an in-group, in the interests of social advancement rather than a concern for others, is considered by many a form of snobbery, lacking in virtue. – Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia)
I then determined, that I wanted to learn and practice a form of godly etiquette. One that is not used for social advancement, but for the sake of being considerate of others and “loving my neighbor as myself”. (Matt. 22:39)
In the midst of my research I found my way to a website called; The Elegant Woman authored by Ms. Eunice. As I read one of her posts I knew I had hit the jackpot. I have not fully explored all she has to offer, but just the little bit that I read so far has helped me in my research process on how to be a lady.
What I’ve learned so far:
“Being a woman does not automatically make one a lady.
“The quicker we understand this, the less hard we would be on ourselves when we make mistakes or etiquette boo-boos.”
“The key to understanding of learning to how to become a lady is this: Learn through reading, understanding, imitation, acting and get over your blunders as soon as possible.”
Her answer to: How did teachings about “how to be a lady” develop?
“It seems that it all began with a little set of rules. It is in human nature to prefer beauty over vulgarity. With some basic observation and development of culture, a series of ‘behaviour’ had been encouraged and others been eliminated – pretty much in favour of what is beautiful. I suppose that is how cutlery had been developed, instead of eating with our hands.”
Also, but lastly:
Being a lady is simply having extended manners such as always looking for a way to be kind and generous, as well as being a conqueror in life (meaning overcoming struggles and rising above difficulties).
A lady has usually given thought and also more or less developed an organized way to go about life.
True, a lady should employ herself in personal grooming, dress well and learn etiquette.
However if you are without a kind heart and thus without manners, people will see through the actions as being artificial.
After all this, and reading “Bite sized lessons ‘How To Be a Lady’ Page One“ I realized, that a “lady” looked a lot like the Proverbs 31 Woman.
Thus, I have resolved to learn and practice godly etiquette, manners and how to be a Proverbs 31 “Lady” 😉 I hope this post enlightened you about this forgotten art. I believe that good manners, ladies and gentlemen, need to return to the American culture. And I believe it will if the hearts and minds of men and women are turned back to the Lord the Creator of all good things.
Thank you for reading. I greatly appreciate your interest.