Code of Conduct
The following description (code of conduct) contains guidelines for the behaviour in various situations in the life of each human. Many of the texts you can find here are coming from an Army Pamphlet (21-41), printed in February 1949, which has been distributed to soldiers of the army of the US. It is certainly not the meaning neither that you feel sympathy for the army or any other military service in any kind of form, nor that you should become a soldier.
This personal code of conduct for humans is written now in this new form in the meaning to give each and every human around the world the great opportunity to raise his own personal level of discipline. Why should you want to do that?
By raising your personal discipline and by implementing this code of conduct for humans, the following points become possible:
- improving the life quality of each human personally
- improving the interconnected life at home and in public
- finding a new identity as the society of individuals
Understanding the meaning of DISCIPLINE
The word discipline comes from a Latin word meaning “to teach.” However, discipline involves a certain type of teaching. Discipline is not peculiar to military organizations. Discipline is the training that develops self-control, character, and efficiency, or is the result of such training. Discipline is a character builder, not a destroyer of individuality.
It is very much essential for each and every human to understand that in the very moment you are stepping out of your home door, you are becoming part of a larger group of humans. This different situation demands from you that you are putting the good of the society higher than your own good.
This means in particular, that everything you are doing, the conversations you are having, the way you are behaving, the kind of dress you are wearing and the way you are moving has to be executed in such a manner that you are not disturbing any other humans.
This includes especially the equipment you are carrying with you. If you are using any electronic devices outside of your home (in public), use them in the most careful and most non-disturbing way you possibly can. Any device with speakers has to be used in public with headsets.
Your primary goal has to be at any given moment not to disturb any other humans. Following this principle, other humans will also not disturb you.
Common sense of courtesy
Courtesy and manners are based upon just plain common sense consideration for others. Our manners show, in a way, the respect we have for our country, Army, ourselves, family, friends, and for those whom we meet. Other persons form their opinions of us or evaluate our character or temperament by comparing our behaviour with the behaviour of their friends.
People, as a rule, are not normally rude or discourteous to those they love or respect. Manners, customs, and personal behaviour differ in localities, States, and other countries, yet all peoples have some type of manners.
They do not always express themselves alike and are not always understood. Some, of course, do not concern themselves with manners of better taste, and some may think themselves smart to be conspicuous by displaying of plain bad manners. Some learn from their mistakes; others never do until no one cares whether they do or do not.
Character and the Respect for others
In the past, some wars have been started by illmannered tyrants who believed their countries and their people superior to all other countries and all other people. They didn’t believe in consideration for others. It was much too late when they learned that lack of respect for others doesn’t pay.
The person who thinks that his crowd, race, religion, country, or State is the only one, is fanatical and overbearing where the rights of others are concerned.
Character and the kind of behaviour we’re talking about go hand in hand. A character is made up of honesty, truth, and cooperation, which are very closely related. The lack of these characteristics is easily detected through observation of one’s conduct and behaviour.
A man who uses tact is usually well-mannered and very likely to succeed in any job which requires him to deal with people. Tact. is somewhat like charm, hard to define, but very important. Charm may be a part of one’s ·natural· characteristics, as well as tact to a certain degree, and both may be acquired. Each can be cultivated and improved. Briefly, tact is the· skillful· use of your personality and common sense ·in dealing with others. You can be tactful by the careful application of your mind and manners in dealing with people.
When you lose your temper, you do and say things that you regret-and you may regret till the end of your days. Even if you don’t knock a man down or insult a woman, you make a fool of yourself every time you let the old mind and body get out of control. Temper is a fine thing if it is your servant and not your master. It isn’t always enough to count to ten before you speak. Maybe a good night’s rest will help you to regain your self-control. If you lose self-control, you’re like a ship without a rudder. You are sure to be knocked about, and you haven’t much chance of getting into port.
Sense of humour
A sense of humour often saves you from making a fool of yourself. By saying something funny when an argument is becoming hot, you may prevent someone from getting hurt. The fellow who can’t laugh at himself, who can’t laugh in· the right way at his friends, and who can’t see the funny side of life, has a hard time. But humour has its time and place.
Respect for women
Beware of the man who speaks disrespectfully of women. Your sister or one of your friends may be his next victim. The fellow who believes everything he hears is little or no better than the one who does the slandering. Refrain from the habit of “loose talk” as it is a dangerous practice.
Treat each and every woman with the same respect and courtesies you extend male officers, noncommissioned officers, and other enlisted personnel. They are doing a fine job and have established an excellent record in the society.
You should be considerate of women, for you have some pretty close relatives in the group. Your mother is a woman, your wife or the girl you’re planning to marry is a woman and in future years you may have daughters and granddaughters. Do not be misled by loose-talking scoundrels.
If you are the right kind of fellow you will take a great deal of pride in your dress and the way you wear it. You will keep it pressed and repaired and you will soon note that the neat well-pressed fellow is the one who is most respected and receives the best treatment. You will find that pride of dress goes hand-in-hand with pride of humanity.
A neat appearance is valuable to you at home as well as in public. You’ve known the importance of body cleanliness since your mother scrubbed your neck and ears; you’ve read about it in school books, and you’ve heard a great deal about it since you entered the society.
Girls are ashamed of a man whose hands and nails are dirty, whose teeth are covered with a yellow film, whose hair is long and shaggy and uncombed, whose. shoes are muddy, and whose uniform is wrinkled and bagging at the knees; remember, too, that people have a keen sense of smell.
Perhaps you can’t be handsome, but you can make the best of the looks you have. The man whose appearance is good has a better chance to be popular than a man whose appearance is poor.
The well-mannered human is popular, and he has a good time. Perhaps politeness will not take you around the world, as you have often heard that it will, but it will make the going much easier. Certainly, bragging will not carry you very far. Bragging, as you have probably noticed, is usually done by one who is trying to cover a feeling of inferiority. He knows he is “small fry,” but he wants you to think he is a “big shot.” Don’t be the “fall guy” for his tall tales as you will soon learn that he is a “fake.”
Getting along with humans
There can’t be happiness in a cottage or a mansion if people who live there don’t have consideration for each other and a common interest in the place. If you are a member of a large family, you know what disturbance can be caused when the rights of individuals are violated. Learning to live and work with others may be the most important lesson of your whole life.
It is well to remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
In the very moment, you are stepping out of your home door, you became a member of a group. As such, you must put the welfare of the society above your own welfare as an individual. This becomes valid in each public place. Avoid loud talking, be it in personal conversations or on the phone. Don’t use devices with speakers anywhere in public places – use headsets all the time. There are many ways to become a nuisance, and every one of them should be avoided.
Don’t put your legs on other sitting places, especially not with your shoes on, with which you are walking on the dirty streets. Other humans, and this can be also yourself, like to sit in this place. Don’t place your bag on the seat beside you, as you occupy with this unnecessarily an available seat for another human.
One who takes two seats for himself and his belongings is selfish and inconsiderate. He is entitled to a seat for one person only.
When you go walking on Main Street, take your manners with you. Gentlemen never appear on the streets or in public places when they have had too much to drink. If you ever have the bad judgment to take too much to drink you should go home at once. Public opinion, respect for humanity, and your own personal safety demand that you stay sober. Therefore, conduct yourself in such a way as to prevent trouble for yourself and your relatives. Do not drink to excess at any time.
Ladies do not like the whistling and catcalls and the personal remarks that “drug-store cowboys” hurl in their direction.
At the cinema or the theatre
Noisy conduct can ruin a picture for the people who sit near you. There’s nothing more annoying than a stream of conversation either about the story or the actors or about something in which you are not at all interested. If you are. hungry, get something to eat before you go into the theatre. The rattling of cellophane or paper bags and the crunching of peanuts, popcorn, or candy wouldn’t be music to anybody’s ears, especially when characters on the screen are saying something people have paid money to hear.
When walking on the streets
When you are walking, be considerate of the drivers of cars. Here are a few don’ts for the pedestrian:
Don’t cross the street when the light is red.
Don’t put yourself in a car’s path on icy days when you know that a sudden stop may cause skidding.
Don’t use your last breath for swearing at the man who hits you.
Wherever you are having a meal, don’t forget your table manners. Yet there is a difference between climbing on a stool in front of a bare counter and being seated at a table covered with a white linen cloth, silver, and crystal.
When you have entered a restaurant, stand near the door until the head waiter or waitress escorts you to a table. If there is a check room, a man usually leaves his hat and coat. A woman, however, usually wears her coat to the table and then drops it over the back of her chair. The woman with you follows the waiter toward the table, and you follow her. The waiter seats your companion, and you seat yourself. If two men accompany one woman, the woman sits between them; and if two women are accompanied by one man, the man sits between them. When two couples are seated at a square table, the men face each other, and the women do likewise.
Good table manners, like all other polite behaviours, are based upon consideration for others. Civilized men nowhere in the world enjoy mealtime if the -dining room, the china, the eating utensils, the cooks, the waiters, and the people at the table are dirty.
Using the spoon
Hold a spoon somewhat as you hold· a pen or pencil when preparing to write.
Using the Knife and Fork
The knife is used only for cutting and for putting butter on bread or vegetables. It should never be used to carry food to your mouth.
All foods except spoon foods are eaten with the fork, held as though it were a pencil.
The right way to use the knife and fork for cutting is easy and graceful. Place your hands over the handles with your forefingers pointing down. The curved-side . of the fork is turned toward the plate. Your meat should be cut one piece at a time. It may be brought to your mouth with the left hand. Don’t use the fork to stab or harpoon. food from serving dishes – use the serving utensils for helping yourself. When the knife and fork aren’t being used, they should be laid on your plate and not dropped against the plates.
Good table manners don’t attract attention to the act of eating.
When you are chewing, keep your mouth shut. Do not shovel food into your mouth faster than you can chew it. The digestive system is often ruined by such habits. Uncouth table behaviour is disliked by all civilized people.
It is impolite to use your tongue in search of a stray morsel, to -slush water inside puffed cheeks, and to probe molars with fingernails at the table. It won’t do any good to hide behind a napkin while you perform your table dentistry, for everybody will know exactly what you’re doing. Attend to this matter after you have left the table.
After you’ve started your food toward your mouth, don’t hold it in mid-air while you talk. If what you want to say can’t wait, return the food to your plate until you finish the conversation.
If you must belch or blow your nose at the table, turn your head and get the unpleasant task over as quickly and quietly as possible. However, avoid all little matters that may be unpleasant for others. Eat quietly and refrain from loud sipping sounds or smacking of the lips.
Food is ammunition, but don’t feed it into the body like rounds into a machine gun. Put not another bit into your mouth until the former be swallowed.
Little “big” things – a gentlemen’s guide
Certain customs, even though they concern little things, make up the code of gentlemanly conduct. Of course, it isn’t necessary to tell you that you shouldn’t scratch or spit in public or blow your nose without using a handkerchief or a piece of cleansing tissue. You know that you should cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze so that you won’t spread disease germs.
A gentleman’s attitude toward women and older men is somewhat different from his attitude toward men his own age or younger. Older people don’t expect the kind of attention that makes them feel like Methuselah’s grandparents, and girls don’t want you to put on the Sir Walter Raleigh act and throw down your coat every time there’s a mud puddle in their path. Nevertheless, both appreciate the little attention that gentlemen are expected to observe.
You don’t call people who are old enough to be your parents by their first names unless they request you to do so.
You listen to older people’s opinions and if you disagree, you do so politely.
You stand when women and older men enter a room, remain standing until they are seated, and stand again whenever they stand.
When you are indoors with women or older men, you uncover your head. You are quick to perform such little courtesies as opening windows, moving chairs, and picking up articles.
You open doors and let women and older men come in or out ahead of you. You help a woman to be seated at a dining table by pulling out her chair. You hold a woman’s coat while she slips her arms into the sleeves. You help a woman on and off cars and busses. You assist her to cross the street safely.
You do a great many other little things-not because women and older people are helpless but because by established custom gentlemen are expected to do them. Sometimes girls and older people behave in such a way that you find it difficult to observe the little things. However, stick to your code, and they will think the more of you.
One of the biggest differences between lower animals and people is that lower animals don’t talk and people do. The savage invented speech so that he could get what he wanted and express his thoughts. Civilized man improved speech because he came to want more things and to have more thoughts to express. A person can talk to himself; but it takes two people to converse, which means-as you know-to talk together.
Though we are going to -put up a few danger signals for your guidance, the conversation field is not planted with landmines, which will blow you up if you make a mistake. Remember that you will be surrounded by friends and not by snipers ready to take aim as soon as you stick your head up. If you are thoughtful of the people you meet, you can be natural and have nothing to worry about. If you can’t- think of anything to say, don’t be afraid to be silent.
Good conversation helps you get along with people. First of all, it is a give-and-take affair. In other words, listening well is just as important as talking well. The biggest bore is the person who talks too much, not the one who talks too little.
A good conversationalist hears the other fellow through before he puts in his own 2 cents’ worth. Even if what you have to say isn’t particularly important, you should be allowed to finish saying it. As a rule, the “butt-in” wants to talk about himself. He can always go you one better before you have had a chance to get going. If you mention a train wreck you were in yesterday, he butts in to tell you about the much worse one he was in last year. Wait for a pause in the conversation before you begin to talk.
Funny people are good company. But don’t forget that funny people are born, not made. If you’re a wit, be thankful for your gift. If you aren’t, don’t think you can become one by imitating a wit.
But be sure to talk more sense than nonsense.
The words you use
Since there are so many good words, why use the bad ones? When you use profanity, most people will find you objectionable.
You are judged by the way you talk as well as by the way you look and the way you act.
Try to remember the grammar you studied at school and the teacher’s instructions to which you only half listened. You’ll find a textbook on grammar in your post library. Get it out and refresh your memory. Listen carefully to the people whom you know speaking a good language and try to talk as they do. When you hear a word pronounced differently from the way you pronounce it, look it up in the dictionary. If you find you’ve been wrong all your life, don’t go on making the same mistake. The librarian will supply you with helpful books. A little studying, you know, is good for the best of men.
Don’t ever forget that a good language helps you succeed in social groups as well as in your work. Remember, too, that the best language is simple, direct, and natural-free from big words and stiff sentences.
Now a word about handshaking! Give a warm, hearty grip that clearly says you’re glad the introduction is taking place. Avoid the “dishrag flip,” which reminds you of a trained dog sitting on his hind legs and offering his paw. Don’t turn your hand into a dead fish and. let it lie in the other person’s hand clammy and cold. Don’t work an extended arm up and down like a pump handle. Don’t mistake your hand for a crushing machine and crack the bones in the hand you are shaking.
“I like to go out with John Saunders,” a girl remarked. “He always remembers the little things that make an evening pleasant.” At a dance, he introduced her to his friends. He saw that she didn’t dance too long with one man. He didn’t wait till her tongue was hanging out with thirst before bringing her some punch. He wasn’t the sort who left a girl standing beside a table or in a lobby while he chatted with some long-lost friend.
The girl you invite out for dinner or dancing is your responsibility. It’s up to you to see that she has a good time and is not placed in embarrassing situations. Remember that the little attentions are important.