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A Lesson In Courtesy

I was at a dinner at a restaurant with a visitor recently. My wife was with us. Midway through the meal, my wife rose to go to the restroom. Our guest, who was sitting at the end of the table, promptly rose to his feet until my wife left the table. He also rose when she returned. I just sat there.

Sometimes we take things for granted. I do not think that it is too common here in Hawaii for men to rise to their feet when a woman leaves or comes to a table. But it should be. A gentleman should know this. I had let it slip but will not do so again.

On Friday I was at a meeting. In my capacity as an attorney, I belong to a committee that works on standard forms for real estate professionals. I sat between two ladies. I made sure to rise to my feet when they arrived and left their seats. I also offered to help them with their seats. This is something a gentleman should do.

So who was the guest who taught me this lesson in courtesy by his own actions? It was David Chambers, the publisher of Classical Fighting Arts, who visited Hawaii on his way back to his home in California after a visit to Okinawa. Thank you David!

Karate techniques and body dynamics are important. But being courteous is also important, and something we can do in our daily lives. The ideal of a Karate expert is to be a gentleman. See: Okinawa's Bushi: Karate Gentlemen.


Charles C. Goodin