Le Savoir-Vivre-that’s a French-ass name!
Yes, it is. I am not French but I love European history and literature which brought me to study French during college. “Le Savoir-Vivre” is commonly mistaked for meaning “Good manners” or “etiquette,” however, it is something more poetic than that. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “Le savoir-vivre, it’s the happy way of doing things.”
Or this translation of Pierre Desproges “the savoir-vivre is the sum of the prohibited that mark the life of a civilized being, that is to say stuck between the rules of being born and those knowing how to die.”
So much of our lives are dedicated to learning how to live, but what does that really mean? Part of learning how to live is learning to respect others and ourselves. Older generations look at the younger generations and claim that we do not know how to really live and that we have a virtual reality that is in fact not real at all.
It’s not that we don’t know how to live, we are simply learning how to live in a world with so much information at the touch of a button, inside a personal device that fits into our hand. We are not trying to rebel or trying to break rules or etiquette like most would say about younger generations these days, but instead we are re-writing a new etiquette for the new ways of living. This is the savoir-vivre of our time.
I opened my blog in 2011 to document all my adventures as a year-long American exchange student in Lausanne, Switzerland. At first, I was writing just about places I went to, but it slowly evolved into writing about funny culture clashes or abrupt realizations about how big and scary the world really is.
It’s amazing how similar people from all different parts of the world are. And I am learning so much about the world, myself, and how we can change the world.
When I moved back to the States in summer 2012, I neglected this blog and put all my energy into finishing my Bachelor’s degree in French with a minor in English, and completing my Master’s of Arts in Teaching in 2014. I am currently a second year High School French teacher in Atlanta, Georgia, and quickly succumbing to the brutal, broken education system.
In the meantime, I am on the pursuit of happiness, dreading–and hoping–that there is more out there.
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