Who Is An Educated Man?
One time, I was asked: Who is an educated man? I rumbled with several responses. However, my friend who asked who is an educated man simply defined him as a person who behaves correctly in any given situation.
It doesn’t matter whether a person went to and graduated from college or did not, if he acts correctly in any situation he is in. Then, he is an educated person.
In many instances, such as during seminars, meetings, and conferences our seat mates continue conversing while the speaker is delivering his message. How can we understand his talk if we keep on conversing while the speaker is delivering his message? Moreover, it is impolite. Other people around are destructed.
One way to effect good behavior in any given place, time and occasion is to follow PROTOCOL. What is Protocol? It comes from a Greek word used to identify documents. However, today it is a body of social discipline without which the gathering of all kinds like the very important persons, dignitaries and even the common people would have little relevance. Protocol brings to the meeting of world leaders a mixture of good manners and common sense which makes effective communication.
Protocol according to the “Rules On Protocol For Philippine Rotary Clubs”, is the expression of good manners… and just as politeness is one of the basic rules for everyday life. Therefore, protocol is a set of rules of conduct for people especially for those in the government and their representatives on official and on private occasions.
Protocol serves to create a pleasant atmosphere in any gathering. It prevents strain and promotes goodwill among people in the gathering.
The rules of protocol “evolve with due regard to local customs and tradition”. Nevertheless, it isn’t meant to upset established situations but to consolidate that which are generally accepted. They are customs and modes of behavior which have come to be accepted as useful and necessary to society.
One rule of protocol is the adherence to the order of procedure in some functions where officials are present. The rank or order of procedure of an official must be properly recognized at all times such as in the official seating and introduction during programs, banquets and other gatherings. An organization may approve its seating arrangement to be followed strictly.
During important gatherings like our annual general meeting of an organization, the participants as well as the guest and very important people must be accorded appropriate respect. If there is the head table for the VIPs, a seating arrangement is followed. They are introduced from the lowest in rank up to the highest in rank and guest of honor as followed by Rotary Clubs as example.
The introducer starts his introduction from both ends of the Presidential Table. He starts from the farthest left and then to the farthest right, back to the next farthest at the left, and then next farthest at the right, and so forth and so on as the introducer gradually moves to the middle.
Elbows must never be placed on the table while a person is eating. The feet must be flat on the floor. If the dish is not within our reach, just request one next seated to you to “please pass” that dish on your right in a cordial way and thank him. Soup must be taken from the side of the spoon and sipped silently. The soup spoon must be filled from one side in an outwardly direction and convey to the mouth the opposite side of the spoon.
Chew the food quietly without opening our mouth. Wiping the silver and plates with the napkin indicates poor manners. Remove spoon from the cup. It is good breeding for a person to take a little of every item offered. Before taking any beverage, make sure to have empty mouth. Lips are wiped clean to keep the rim of the glasses and cups free from ugly marks. After one has finished eating his meal, he places the fork and knife on the right side of the plate. The sharp side of the knife must face inward and the fork, with the tines up is placed to the left of the knife.
Napkin is never meant to be bib, neither towel nor handkerchief. Never blow your nose in a napkin but napkin is used to blot or wipe our mouth. When you sit at the table, place napkin of your laps. After eating, napkin should be simply placed loosely to the left side of place setting. /MP