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S'il vous plait, por favor, etc.

S'il vous plait, por favor, paki, per favore, bitte

These words, all or most of which may be foreign-sounding to most of us, mean "please." They are the French, Spanish, Tagalog, Italian and German, respectively, of this English word.

It looks like this word that is attached to or precedes requests or even commands is built in in these languages and most probably in other languages or dialects in the world as well. This is for a reason that is universal in nature.

This word, used in human interaction, is a sign of politeness and respect to the person being addressed (everybody is made in the image and likeness of God), and is also a sign of respectability of the one using it. It is one word whose use does not discriminate as to age, station in life, achievement, or title of people. It is always proper to use it anywhere -- at home, in the workplace, in public. It is proper to use it between equals or peers, or by a superior to a subordinate in the office, etc.

It used to be that this word is taught in school, like the word "thank you," "excuse me" and similar words of respect. In grade school we used to have a subject called GMRC (Good Manners and Right Conduct). When children are not polite or respectful, it is the parents who are blamed or criticized for not giving them proper upbringing. It is the basis of Emily Post's books on Etiquette.

Valuing the word "please" can affect behavior in society in general, like respect for other people's names, property, lives and safety. Gossip/detraction, destruction of others' property while protesting some issue, and the taking of innocent life of children in schools and in the womb, and termination of the life of the elderly, attest to this.

Once upon a time, on a mountain, God set in stone His decrees for human behavior and relations with one another and with Him. He also put them in the human heart (aka "natural law").

Once I referred to the Ten Commandments as "guidelines" by which to live our lives. I was promptly corrected.

When God gave His Ten Commandments, He says: "You shall . . . " and "You shall not," as in "You shall love the Lord your God . . . You shall love your neighbor." "You shall not kill . . . You shall not commit adultery," etc.

For the Ten Commandments are precisely that: Commandments. They are not the "Ten Suggestions," or the "Ten Guidelines," or the "Ten Requests."

This is one instance when the word "please" does not apply.#


And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

"You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother,‘Raca,’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to the fire of hell." Mt. 5:21-22

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