on December 21, 2011
Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss is an easy and delightful read, similar to her previous book, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. The only problem I had was that many of the mannerisms were very "English" and even the way she speaks is very "English", not that this is all that bad. The English are known for a kind of humour that mocks their "proper behavious" in a rather raunchy way. Truss reverses this process. She gives hilarious examples of rude behavior that is very much in line with our new technological era, but is very serious about her disappointment in the human race for being unaware that there are other people in the room. I fully agreed with almost all of her issues, although I am hardly a man who is fixated on manners. I do, however, see that if we do not do something about improving our manners, we will simply lose sight of anyone else in the room but us, and that would indeed be a tragedy. This book very skillfully points out where we are heading and how we can stop the stupidity by just stopping the behavior. We need not be rude by nature; it is a matter of being aware of the simple fact: "We are not alone". And this is not just to refer to having a God hanging about.
My advice to all is not just to enjoy the humour but to look at your behavior. The next time that cell phone rings in the middle of a conversation with another, do you a) answer it, b) answer it with an apology, c) dont't answer it and let it ring d) don't answer and let it ring with an apology, e) shut it off or f) shut the damn thing off with an apology? What is even more important is to examine why you have it in your pocket in the first place. What does that say about you and your relationship with OTHERS around you? Are you able to cope with "delayed gratification"?