Delicacy and Formality
There is a gentle formality among southerners that I find most familiar and comforting. It is a land where manliness is identified with chivalry. Power is measured in self-restraint, not self-promotion. The southern lady is the bearer of culture and esteemed in the highest by the southern gentleman. This culture of civility transcends class and race, yet no class nor race is exempt from the responsibility.
I am by nature, upbringing, and habit rather formal in my ways, so it is always a joy for me to be among those who are reserved, quiet, kind, dignified, and respectful. Those who insist on the discipline of mannerly behavior. The gracious southerners who remain unflappable in an age of declining grace. Those with soft, slow, southern voices who meet everyone with a warm greeting.
The Art of Behaving Well
In the South, these traits manifest themselves in the laughing voices of the sweet southern ladies who gently squeeze your hand and declare you are sweeter than sugar. It is the gent with a beau's heart who knows your name but only ever calls you "Missy". It is every parent who insists on respectful behavior from their children for their own sakes and for the sake of society.
It is pearls and dresses, but is also getting down in the grass to tend to your babies, chickens, and roses. It is bow ties and pocket watches, but so too is it rolling up sleeves to help a stranger, solve a problem, and give of yourself. It is manners and morals and a code of conduct carried from mother to child.