Thursday, August 9, 2012

Acting accordingly

Today’s blog post comes from Cindy! Take it away, Cindy...

“All persons shall conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the intended use of the premises.”

That sign, in the lobby of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, is a fabulous example of how our manners should adapt to the environment.  As someone who has studied and taught these rules for a career, I would be the first to say there are some manners that are always consistent. For example, being respectful is always important just as being a great listener.

But there are moments when proper etiquette might be rather unusual—even counterintuitive—but still befitting the circumstances. Let me explain. 

Earlier this year, famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma presented a solo concert at Hodgson Hall on the campus of the University of Georgia. He was dressed in a beautifully tailored suit playing a one-of-a-kind antique cello.  The audience was spellbound as he played.

After the intermission, he arrived on stage with his suit jacket off wearing a red UGA sweatshirt!  And, the crowd went crazy, yelling “Go Dawgs!” and even woof-woof-woofing! 

After the concert, a friend saw me and expressed her dismay that people would start yelling in the concert hall.  I agreed that for one second I thought I was at a football game, but very quickly added how wonderful it was that a professional cellist at the top of his game could share his expertise and get a rousing response from the audience when he chose to identify with their home team and home town!  I would equal it to someone bringing me a favorite bottle of wine when they were invited to my home for dinner.  After this exchange, my friend was accepting and even thoughtful about what she had experienced. 

So, back to that sign in the hotel lobby. We should all think about where we are and how we should act accordingly! Even yelling in a concert hall has its place. BRAVO!

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