Etiquette |ˈetikit, -ˌket|
the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.
The Etiquette Foundation of Illinois, Inc., was established to develop and promote a broad range of etiquette and cultural enrichment programs designed to raise public awareness on the state of civility, and social decorum here in the State of Illinois. As we embark upon this extraordinary journey, we find ourselves motivated by many factors, some very obvious, others not so obvious. We do see a need to step forward and address the very premise of what a civil society should be striving to achieve. This desire is prompted by our daily encounters and the necessity to question the conduct of others. You are compelled to reassess your own behavior, or ask, what does it mean to be cordial, courteous, polite and considerate of others when you encounter very little reciprocal engagements? How do we re-invigorate the very essence of our individual and collective obligation to foster a more civil discourse in the larger society? We believe there is a vacuum of purpose and a lack of appreciation when it involves our social responsibility to one another. We are often indifferent to what is in our better interest because it may be somewhat inconvenient to take a moment to say, “excuse me” or “thank you.” It is a question of our values and our inability to reconnect to those standards of behavior that rest at the base of civilized behavior. And therein, as we witness the growing disintegration in social decorum at every level of our society, we must search for answers and find solutions to how we can create a more thoughtful and yes, a more polite society.
We, quite regrettably, see this era in our national life, as a unique opportunity to help resuscitate what is central to our individual and collective humanity, and to what makes civil society, its social customs, and rules of behavior, possible.
The Etiquette Foundation of Illinois is, we believe, the right idea at the right time to grapple with one of the grand issues of our time. We are looking forward to developing creative and innovative ways to promote civility and the benefits of good manners at every level of society.
We must also remember, without exception, our responsibility to our children as part of our stewardship, wherein; we must give greater consideration to the broader questions concerning their social and cultural development. Promoting the importance of etiquette training as a necessary prerequisite to having a “complete” social and academic education is one of our primary goals.
If we are truly committed to creating a workforce for a “service-based economy,” we cannot continue to disregard the value of teaching children the rules of social behavior. We are planning an aggressive campaign to address this issue in our public educational short-comings.
We are particularly concerned about those children who are part of a very important yet underserved segment of our population—they are the socially and economically disadvantaged children residing across the State of Illinois. We see them as the embodiment of who we are and what we can become as a society. We also see them as the State’s greatest under-developed resource, however unprepared they may be to meet the social and educational challenges ahead. We must, as part of our social commitment, give greater consideration to the broader questions concerning their social education and their ability to contribute to the economic growth here in the State of Illinois. Etiquette training, we believe, would represent a significant shift in their social awareness, attitude, intellect, and the benefits of correct social comportment with peers and adults will have, we believe, significant interpersonal ramifications in the lives of our children and in the role they will play in the broader community. What a wonderful way to contribute to our social and intellectual growth as a state—train a very important segment of our population in the ways of good manners and proper social decorum—skills they will need to be effective social contributors in an increasingly demanding and diverse society.