In African Tradition, family members of Humanity Values (e.g. Caring for non-evil people) have Good Manners and Humanity Goodness on top, both being reflections of God. Humanity Goodness derives from humans’ Spirits unified in their Brain/Mind subconscious with the Supreme Being. These concepts, originated by Early Africans’ intense research on/in Nature and Astro-Mathematics, led them to infer humans Souls, upon arriving into Being-hood in a primal (first in time) state, were instilled with a Spark from the Flame of the Supreme Being. Inside each Soul, the Spark was like rays of Sunshine—and with each ray symbolizing a Virtue—i.e. the display of “Goodness” and Nonaggression towards the Divine, Nature, and Socially. Individual Soul Sunshine Attributes consist of, among others: Accountability to the Ultimate Cosmic Force; Aliveness; Appreciation; Beauty; Caring; Compassion; Courage; Creativity, Curiosity; Dignity; Freedom; Gentleness; Goodness; Happiness; Honorableness, Humor; Human Perfection; Insights, Integrity, Kindness; Play; Personal Power; Responsibility; and Well-Being. These Spiritual Realities can be thought of as a Kaleidoscope’s overlapping colors. To see the entire Humanity family—all with the same Cosmic Genetics–means their unique Spiritual Elements displays simulate ever-changing kaleidoscopic patterns, with the range of each color sharing nuanced Goodness with the others. The resultant diversity of colors uniquely fashion ones Consciousness expansion into a “Oneness”. As a Theme, they give self-Improvement and “ME/WE” Protection benefits. Within this context, Ancient Africans, writing under such genre as Wisdom Literature, Maxims, Instructions (a series of maxims on the “way of living truly”), and to a lesser extent Discourses, widely discussed “ME/WE” Manners–which sort of blends into Ethics.
Most famous is “Instructions of Ptahotep” (3000 BC), presenting righteous conduct standards. But the earliest surviving “Instruction” was written by Hatdjedef. Interestingly, Confucius (551-479 BC), the Chinese philosopher, whose writings focus on people-to-people relationships, are quite similar. Instructions of Amenemope (1017-968 BC) are perhaps the most important of the Wisdom Literature. It was largely borrowed into the European Biblical Book of Proverbs (Darkwah, p. 256-8). To set forth practical injunctions for living, he collected the long evolution of Egyptian Maxims (public declarations of basic moral principles) and Admonitions (cautions and warnings by way of advice) (Bailey, Good Character, p. 189). “Manners” were generally agreed to be “Heart” expressions of caring for the Dignity and feelings of others. Dignity—in-born Worthiness/Humaneness from God’s symbolic atmosphere–focuses on moral duties affecting others. It emphasizes taking good care of their feelings (e.g. “thank you” for gifts); making others feel good; not doing anything to offend them; or assisting them to feel less bad. Dignity, in relation to Ancient African “Religion,” affected and had effects on all aspects of life–from farming to fishing to hunting; from travel to “hanging out”; to courtship to family. A pervading idea was direct spiritual encounters tended to lead to experience in and of the Divine. What all of these aspects had in common was Infinite Altruism–striving to develop an infinite capacity of helping all other sentient (feeling) Beings. Akan and Ga West African villages were ancient kings and emperors who devised around the world modern Manners and Principles of religious life. African Parents ‘cautiously’ spanked their children as fundamental to guiding them into always showing Respect to all, especially Elders, by exhibiting yoked to GodGood Manners (i.e. giving great care to ensure all were safe, comfortable, and always thanked for gifts, or for anyone having gone out of their way to be of benefit) and saying/doing things to help each child “succeed” in any ways appropriately shown.
In my boyhood, we children learned everybody is not the same and nobody does things the same way because each has different experiences and Worth/Value priorities; that it was wrong to try to impose ones thoughts, feelings, ways on others; not decide for them but rather ask what they wanted or felt; do small sacrifices to help. Ethics—I define as what a given society deems to be appropriate or inappropriate behavior–is in partnership with Morals and Good Manners. To become ‘second nature’ skilled in them is the “Heart” of Common Sense. As a lifestyle, they serve well as ingredients for all of ones/others underlying Right Life Living patterns.