What parts of our traditional concepts of courtesy, good manners, and respect are worthy of being maintained? Which ones are more appropriately left in the past? There are so many to include in this consideration – men standing when ladies enter the room, helping to push in a lady’s chair, opening the car door for a lady. The one I considered most recently is the courtesy of men removing their hats at the dinner table.

From the top, I expect that some will consider me to be overzealous or hypersensitive. But I have taught manners to my own daughter and son and continue to do so in the classroom. And the business of wearing hats and hoods indoors is always a consideration in my schools.

The internet if full of references to men removing their hats at the table. One note suggests that hats were initially designed to protect men (and women) from the elements, none of which exist indoors. Others suggest that wearing a hat at the table is discourteous because it signals an immediate intent to leave the premises; wearing a hat indicates that someone is uncomfortable.

As always, we can take the good and the bad that we find online and keep or discard whatever we choose. But my research indicates that traditional rules of respect suggest that hats should be removed before sitting down at a dining table. No, I would never berate someone for keeping on a hat at the table. The decision to wear it is either personal preference or a disregard for traditional protocols.

Somewhere deep inside of me, I continue to believe in the importance of long-standing values. It really doesn’t matter where we are when we preserve these concepts. Maybe it’s in a restaurant or grocery store. Maybe it’s on the road while driving. Just as it is your right to ignore these practices that have been part of our history, it is mine to perpetuate them.

Above all, I cannot and will not tolerate the failure to stand for the Star Spangled Banner. Respect for our country and everything that it represents will always be paramount. Shalom.

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