"On Saying Please"- Summary (2023)

OnSaying Please

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A.G.Gardner’s essay "On Saying Please", deals with the importance of theexpressions ‘Please', or thank you', in daily social life. It settles manybitter arguments and softens harsh tempers. In this essay the writer talksabout the value of good manner in the society. To strengthen his views A.G.Gardner gives example from his own experience. Once, a lift man throws apassenger out of the lift because the passenger did not say "Topplease". This act of the lift man is wrong because one cannot punishimpoliteness with physical violence. Hence the action of the lift man is notlegally justified.

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Impolitenessis not a legal offence and it cannot be treated by violence. If that can bedone, the city will run with blood all day due to violence. Though, incivilityand impoliteness are not legally wrong, they are extremely dangerous and itwill affect the course of life. Bad manners are like infections. They actuallydo more damage to the general life than all crime in the world. The pain causedby bodily injuries passes away soon, but the wound caused by bad mannersremains even green. Bad manners make life hellish where as good manner makelife happy and cheerful. Therefore one should use good manners and politenessin social behaviour. The first requirement of good manners is that when onerequires a service he/she should say 'Please’. When the service is made, oneshould gratefully say `thank you'. 'Please and 'thank you' are the courtesiesby which humans can keep the machine of life oiled and graceful. These courtesiesmake life happy.

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Thewriter narrates another personal incident. One day the writer boarded a bus. Hefelt that he had no money in his pocket. The conductor did not insult him but,recognizing him a gentleman, issued him a ticket. The writer found some moneyin his pocket and paid the fare. He was much impresses by the courtesy andpoliteness of this conductor. A few days later the same bus conductor trawledthe writer's toe. He felt pain but the manner of the bus conductor was sopleasing that he forgot it. The writer recognised that the conductor was amodel of good manners. He had a knack of making his passengers comfortable. Hewas extremely kind and considerate. With old people he was as considerate as ason, and with children as caring as a father. He created an atmosphere of goodtemper and kindliness. Hence a journey with him was a lesson in naturalcourtesy and good manners. He got through his work with ease and courtesy toothers.

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Thewriter says that war has badly affected our manner. War has made people unciviland boorish. He advises to restore good manners to make life a happy one. Oneshould teach moral lesson to those who are guilty of bad manners. In thisconnection people should follow the example of Lord Chesterfield. During that timeLondon streets were without pavement. Once, Lord Chesterfield met a person inthe way who said. "I never give the wall to a scoundrel". But LordChesterfield replied, "I always do". This victory of LordChesterfield was more lasting. He concludes the essay by stating that thelift man also might have followed the foot of Lord Chesterfield instead ofpunishing the man.

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