Lasallian Thought for the Day

Love for Politeness

It may seem strange at first that politeness is regarded as part of our Lasallian Spirituality. Yet, St. La Salle rated this virtue highly and even wrote a whole book on the subject.

Politeness, Courtesy, Civility, Good Manners, all refer to the correct way of behaviour. For La Salle, Christian politeness is based on love for God and neighbour. We are to behave properly, not merely because this will save face, or because we fear punishment, but because we owe respect to one another. We owe respect to one another because we are all children of God and we honour God in the person of our neighbour.

St. La Salle wanted teachers and students to behave like true gentlemen, polite, courteous, modest and refined. Such behaviour would foster the spiritual and moral life of the schools. Parents and teachers should train the young to act in the right way.

Here are some ways of acting politely according to La Salle:

  • Show your respect for others in the expression of your face and eyes.
  • Speak and answer everyone with great gentleness and respect.
  • Never insult anybody and let nothing bitter or disdainful creep into your voice.
  • Never speak to anyone except with kindness.
  • Always say please, thank you, I'm sorry& as the situation demands.
  • Always use clean words, nothing suggesting indecency or impurity.
  • Tell the truth in all charity.
  • Avoid gossip.
  • Avoid boasting; your actions should speak for you.
  • Receive visitors cordially and show hospitality to honour your guests.
  • When at table, do not be greedy but eat with moderation.
  • Cleanliness of the body should be an outward sign of the soul's purity.
  • No wonder La Salle himself was regarded as a gentleman and a Saint.

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