Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.
Good manners are the blossom of good sense and good feeling. If the law of kindness be written in the heart, it will lead to hat disinterestedness in both great and little things- that desire to oblige, and that attention to the gratification of others, which are the foundation of good manners. Whatever expands the affections, or enlarges the sphere of our sympathies-whatever makes us feel our relation to the universe and all that it inherits in time and in eternity, and to the great and beneficent cause of all, must unquestionably refine our nature and elevate us in the scale of being. Manners are like the cipher or zero in arithmetic; they may not be much in themselves, but they are capable of adding a great deal to the value of everything else.
Manners are the ornament of action and there is a way of speaking a kind word, or doing a kind thing, which greatly enhances its value. What seems to be done with a grudge, or as an act of condescension, is scarcely accepted as a favour. Manners are of more important than laws. The law touches us but here and there, and now and then. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in .Manners is everything with some people, and something with everybody.
One day when famine had brought great misery in Russia, a beggar, weak, all but starved to death, asked for alms. Tolstoy searched his pockets for a coin but discovered that he was without as much as a copper piece.
Taking the beggar’s worn hand between his own, he said “Do not be angry with me my brother, I have nothing with me”. The thin lined face of the beggar became illumined as from some inner light, and he whispered in reply: “But you called me brother—that was a great gift”.
Good manners are the small coin of virtue.