When I was in my teens and twenties, I despised manners. Why would you say words to other people without really feeling them?. Why would you go through routines, using fixed words, instead of expressing the spontaneous emotion of the moment?
In this, as in so much else, I was influenced by the degraded Romanticism which pervades our culture, in which emotion is raised above reason, and the individual will must be at the centre of everything.
It didn’t do me any good, of course. I missed out on many cheerful words and many ceremonies which would have enriched my life. I graduated from…
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