StartUp Tip #92: Class and good manners

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If war has an opposite, it’s not peace, it’s civilization. (inspired by Ursula LeGuin writing in 1969)

Civilization is the foundation of every successful culture.

It permits us to live in safety, without being crippled by fear.

Civilization is the willingness to discuss our differences, not to fight over them.

Civilization is efficient, in that it permits every member of society to contribute at her highest level of utility. And it’s at the heart of morality, because civilization is based on fairness.

The civilization of a human encampment, a city or town where people look out for one another and help when help is needed is worth seeking out.

To be always at risk, to live in a society where violence is likely, this undermines our ability to be the people we seek to become.

Over the last ten generations, we’ve made huge progress in creating an ever more civilized culture. Slavery (still far too prevalent) is now seen as an abomination.

Access to information and healthcare is better than it’s ever been.

Human culture is  far from fully civilized, but as the years go by, we are getting better at seeing all the ways we have to improve.

We live in a civilized world.

People who still slap others, use violence against women and the vulnerable, shout at employees, hurl insults and racists remarks at others, are not civilised.

They are uncouth, classless and don’t belong in a civilized world.

There are some things that money just cannot buy, like manners, morals and intelligence.

Money cannot buy you class. 

Class is knowing what to say, when to say it, and when to stop.

Having class is the ability to walk away from a bad situation with a smile on your face and forgiveness in your heart.

Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky.

Class is the sure footedness that comes with knowing that you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.

Class is not swag.

Class is timeless.

Class is not the appearance, it is the essence.

Class is self-knowledge.

Class is the quiet-confidence that comes with knowing what you want, and don’t need external validations.

We must always challenge those who display uncivilized, classless and uncouth behavior no manner how much money they have or position they hold.

The standard can come from each of us. We can do it. We can speak up.

Kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world no matter how you look

We can decide to care a little more.

We can stand up to the boss, the CEO, or the elected representative and say, “wait,” when they cross the line, when they pursue profit at the cost of community, when they throw out the rules in search of dom-krag [a brawl] instead.

The race to the bottom and the urge to win at all costs are not new, but they are not part of who we are and ought to be today in a civilized world.

There is nothing as sexy and attractive as focus, hard work, honest and good manners. Just that subtle hard work, no attention seeking. The quiet confidence.

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