Class 56: “Take In a Little Etiquette Along the Way” (Part 4)


Welcome to Class 56 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society, working in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women.

The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.

I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE Magazine bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men” and the national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Women.” My wife, Meriqua Whyte, and my eldest daughter, Daniella Whyte, co-authored “Letters to Young Black Women” with me. My daughter (who has two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and religion and a master’s degree in human services counseling—executive leadership and is now pursuing her second master’s degree in developmental psychology) and her mother, developed the Study Guide. We are using Letters to Young Black Women and its study guide to guide you through this course. This course is for all young women, but especially for young black women and young women of color who oftentimes face disadvantages that others do not. The goal of this class is to help you operate from a position of strength and power based upon the Word of God so you can be victorious in life. My prayer is that this class will empower you to win against your enemies: the devil, sorry men, and even yourself.

Today, we will continue our study titled, TAKE IN A LITTLE ETIQUETTE ALONG THE WAY.

Allow me to begin with a quote from Carl Sagan. He said, “Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used.”

Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read a portion of the corresponding letter from the book, Letters to Young Black Women. Then we will proceed with this lesson:

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Below are some books to help you in the area of etiquette:

Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour
By Judith Martin
(Atheneum)

Emily Post’s Etiquette
By Peggy Post
(Collins)

Commonsense Etiquette: A Guide to Gracious, Simple Manners for the Twenty-First Century
By Marjabelle Young Stewart
(St. Martin’s Griffin)

A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions
By Genevieve Antoine Dariaux
(William Morrow)

Throughout your life, you will be invited to different occasions, and you do not want to appear ignorant of the proper rules of society. Learn some simple rules of etiquette so that you can be prepared for any occasion.

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Most people would agree that civility is lacking in much of our society. Having good manners no longer simply means using your table utensils appropriately. It also means knowing how to treat people well and when and what to say in particular occasions. It has been said that there are times in which good manners and basic kindness can open doors that the best education cannot. Here are some final considerations on etiquette from the Power of Positivity:

13. During a dinner, it is offensive to be loud while laughing, talking or even to stare at other diners.

14. It is expected that a person who invites you to lunch pays the bill, however, you should be decent to keep track on your spending and be ready to pay to avoid embarrassments.

15. When invited to a party, it’s courteous not to bring other people who were not invited to the party. It is important that you use some decency here.

16. As a gentleman, always open doors and allow ladies to enter first. And if you have a reserved table, the man should locate it and lead his companion there.

17. While you are at a dinner party, it’s advisable to leave your phone on silent mode or cut the cell phone off. It’s better to respond to urgent calls by text rather than excusing yourself too often to pick up calls.

18. Perhaps you come in late to a meeting, class or any other gathering. It is more honorable to find a seat behind where you won’t be causing some distractions rather than trying to fit into your favorite position.

19. As a commuter, a young person who is able bodied is expected to give an elderly person or a woman carrying children his or her seat rather than leave them in an uncomfortable position.

20. It is widely expected that men should only sit on a public transport if no woman is left standing near them. Men are always obliged to give their seats to ladies.

21. When a man has a lady as company, he is expected to use the exit first and clear the way for her as he assists her to exit the building, train, bus, etc.

22. As a guest, it is not polite to refuse food. It is better to ask for a lesser portion rather than turning down the offer. If you are on a diet, it is more honorable to decline an invitation rather than accept it and then avoid their food.

23. Listening is very important. It doesn’t mean you must keep mute during a conversation, but showing a keen interest in the discussion and interjecting at an appropriate timing depicts that you are on the same page as your partner.

24. Show some decency by greeting the driver when you board a bus or a taxi and show some courtesy by thanking them as you alight.

25. As a commuter, be careful not to inconvenience others with your luggage. Do not place your belongings on the seat next to you; if you can’t manage holding them closely on your lap, you can as well put them under your seat.

Emily Post said, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”

In our next class, we will begin a new study, “USE YOUR EDUCATION TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE”.

—LET’S PRAY—

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Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.

God bless you and keep you until we meet for our next class.