Happy Monday! Let’s kick this week off with a Monday Manner.
Today we are talking about: Salt and Pepper.
Not to be confused with…
Did I just date myself? And I do apologize to my 90s friends who may now have “SHOOP” on repeat in their heads.
SALT AND PEPPER while rather simple and available for our seasoning preferences actually have a deeper meaning to the foundation of manners and kindness.
Best explained by my favorite professor crush (yes, Mr. Lockard is well aware) Dr. P.M. Forni in his book “Choosing Civility”:
“When I teach my courses on civility and manners, I tell my students: “We are eating together in the university cafeteria andI ask you to pass the salt. What do you do?”
The exchange that follows that question usually goes like this: “I will pass you the salt,” answers students, A somewhat puzzled by having to state the obvious.
“What else?” I press.
“That’s it,” he replies. “You asked for the salt and I’ll pass you the salt.”
“What else?” I insist.
Fifteen seconds of silence, then a tentative answer comes from student B: “I will pass you the pepper as well?”
“Yes,” I reply. “That is what we find in books of etiquette: salt and pepper always travel together. The books, however, neglect to tell us why. You tell me then, the reason behind the rule.”
Student B is ready now: “I will give you the pepper as well because you may need it later?”
That indeed part of the rationale. And that’s where ethics intersects etiquette. “You,” I tell student B, “will be thinking of a need of mine that may or may not become apparent. By doing what you are doing, you are not just observing an arbitrary rule. Your act has an ethical component, since it requires attention and consideration. If the essential feature of the creep is self-centered obliviousness, you are the opposite of creep.
While none of us want to be a creep, the fact is that when life gets busy the creep, has a way of creeping in.
So, as we go forward this week, let’s focus on the salt and pepper. In terms of passing it together and in everyday situations of putting another person’s needs ahead of our own!
Oh, but before I forget, pop back on Friday for DIY Friday and my favorite Salt-N-Pepa trick. I promise not to rap, pinky promise.
I now leave you with a little savory eye candy of the Salt and Pepper sort. Happy Monday Manner friends!
My sister has these and I fell in love! The Rhode Spice Tower