Good Manners or Efficiency?

I miss the “healthy hypocrisy” of the past. I refer to those behaviors and that language that is a little diplomatic, a little (considered) “hypocritical” with which people related, especially in the political world and internationally.

Today a politician calls the head of the European Commission a drunkard, whose authoritative exponent has described the government of a member state as racist.

Even if they were both right, the truth is naked and it would be up to the wisdom to clothe it. But maybe the clothes are gone!! There is almost tenderness and nostalgia for Churchill who, provoked by Lady Astor in Parliament (“if I were your wife, I would poison your tea”) replied without hesitation: “and if I were your husband, I would drink it”.

Vulgarity has changed its name it calls itself sincerity. And education has become the symptom of asocial behavior. In public it is enough to say a dirty word to take applause. Only in private do glimpses of ancient hypocrisy persist, but they are increasingly rare. Once, to know the location of the bathroom in the house of others, it was customary to ask: where could I wash my hands? ” Now, if you don’t tell in detail what you’re going to do, you look like a snob.

Is it a snapshot of modern society, too “efficient” to get lost in pleasantries?

I recently read that the terms related to the typical forms of courtesy were predominantly eclipsed, to the advantage of the so-called efficiencyist logic and, obviously, to the detriment of good manners. On the other hand, the curse often used even out of context, has taken the place of slang and idioms, giving rise to a vulgar and low-level form of communication, sometimes adopted even by the leaders of the countries to express their homologation to the community.

Another research published in the Wall Street Journal highlights a highly individualistic, competitive society with little attention to good manners, in which the sense of community has been replaced by a highly competitive spirit. It is no coincidence that terms such as “auto”, “mine”, “personalized” and “me” (which has become the incipit of most conversations) have by far supplanted words such as “gratitude” and “appreciation”.

In short, it seems that good manners must now leave room for the frenzy of the modern world, which has everything, except time for the now “boring” pleasantries.


Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

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  1. Aldo, thank you for your thought provoking post…

    Please allow me to share a few of my own thoughts. In all of our interactions with all kinds of people we come across, I believe there is a specific place for manners, curtsy, etiquette and being respectful. I understand etiquette to be a code of polite conduct based on social acceptance and efficiency.

    Etiquette may change in different cultures, but being respectful and practicing good manners is a universal must. Manners are polite behaviors that reflect an attitude of consideration, kindness and respect for others.

    Being friendly and respectful makes us noble and strengthens our positive qualities, because the politeness we put forth in our actions will transform us into better people. Coloring our lives with smiles, respect, and generosity is one of the best decisions we can make.

    Finally. respect is the basis of effective social and personal functioning. Practicing good manners and being respectful towards others is essential, because politeness makes all the difference in social interactions.

  2. Thank you all for adding substance to my post. I am happy having attracted your attention and your thoughts about. Obviously, my thanks also go to those who took the time to read the post and show only (most welcomed) appreciation. I am sure that they too have a lot of interesting feedback to propose or comments to share, and that only for lack of time, in this world where everything is accelerated, they did not express their opinion on it.
    Thanks a lot, sincerely!

  3. Aldo – I don’t disagree with you one bit. As I was reading your piece, I pulled back metaphorically to look at society and social mores and language over time, and the word that came to mind was “evolution.” I try to use that word in a completely neutral way – change is neither good nor bad, it’s just change – but when we look at what is versus what was, we’re challenged. As Lend and Ken said, “sad.”

    My depression-era parents recoiled at the world in which I was coming of age. And when I look at youth today – at their habits, beliefs, music etc – I am left scratching my head. “Decay,” as Darlene notes? Yes, but maybe it’s always been that way when one generation looks at the next.

  4. Dennis, thank you for publishing and, as Susan says, for giving us the opportunity to be able to discuss civilly even when we disagree and the views differ.Ken, Len, Susan, Darlene, thank you for following me but even more for freely expressing your point of view by adding value to every conversation.I appreciate it.

  5. Thank you for this Aldo! Yes, I genuinely believe we have a decay in our communication skills, never mind our values. It extends beyond…I heard a well-known criminologist say this which I will paraphrase. At one time, it was ”thou shall not…Now it is ”thou shall not get caught.”💖

  6. Aldo, there weren’t too many like Churchill, even in his day, but today? Good luck finding someone!

    I guess it’s up to those of us who value civil discourse — even or maybe particularly when we disagree on something — as a way of keeping our civilization strong and healthy.

    And that seems to be one of the prime values of Dennis Pitocco’s vision for BIZ360 — a coming together of those who may disagree, but not in a disagreeable way.

    Once again you’ve given us something to think about, and thank you!