Monday, January 10, 2011
The dropping of the traditional salutation "Dear" is one small symptom of the greater, growing gargantuan problem of a loss of civility as a society in our prosperous country. We are loosing our grip on civil behavior, civil dress, civil discussions and debate, civil listening skills and civil writing skills.
As an etiquette and manners teacher for the past decade with another decade in the retail bridal business, I have noticed a slow but steady relaxation of formality, and decline of civility in our society.
Teenagers up for college scholarships come to me to learn how to correctly manipulate their knife and fork. Families no longer eat together nightly at the dining room table or the kitchen table as each family member is on their own computer with dinner on their desks. Television producers pit 24 hour news anchors and talk show hosts against their guests, everyone interrupting each other and yelling over each other during debate for the purpose of the ratings dollar. Kids are being rushed in spacious SUV's to school soccer games on Sundays while texting shorthand on their own cell phones. Children are also being driven through the drive through for a kids meal which they eat with their fingers while they play with their computer games.
The "Golden Rule" in civilized societies continues to be: "He who has the most gold rules." As compared with the rest of the world, we have much "gold" in our lives in this wealthy, civilized country yet we are loosing our attention spans, loosing our pants to the ground, loosing our rhetoric and written commentary, loosing our family time to computers and TV, and lastly, our little charming, civil salutations to political correctness and the tremendous, stressed pace of the newest, latest and greatest technology, and for what reason?
p.s. As I am writing this letter, a Congresswoman and 18 other American citizens have been shot in Arizona....Now, we are loosing not only our civilities, but our souls...How as a nation shall we ever regain our dignity and civility?
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
From my book: Forget-Me-Not, Forget-Me-Never, Remember The Fun We Had Together
To Carrie: Never be flat, Never be sharp, And always be natural.
Your friend, Elsie Verick
December 29, 1905
The other day, I happened across a Blog about someones 52 biggest mistakes in life. The mistakes were mostly professional in nature. Interesting, but rambling and often repetitious. So, the following are 12 helpful, hopefully wise little tips towards a happier you for a new year!
- What defines us is how we rise after falling.
- If you do not fail at least three times in life, you are not trying hard enough.
- All we can do is the best we can do every day. If you did not do so well today, go to bed and tomorrow will be another chance to do better for yourself. Accept or forgive yourself and move on!
- Your job is not who you are, your job is what you do.
- Do not let your salary define you.
- If you are miserable in your current job, leave it, but be sure to have another job to go to and 6 months of expenses in a savings account. Nothing worse than dreading every day of the week or letting your boss beat on you every day. Life is too short and a job is just that, a job.
- Some people are addicted to chaos and if they do not have chaos in their own lives, they will create chaos for themselves and those around them. These chaos lovers cannot function without chaos, and the chance to "fix" everything and feel needed or worthy. Just recognize who these people are, even if they are family members, and keep them at arms length, unless you enjoy chaos too.
- Never make an important decision on emotion. Sleep on it. Listen to those little voices in your head. Try to think of the long term consequences of your decision.
- If you never say anything negative, no one will be able to truthfully say you said something negative. Try to always think about what you say, and how, when and where you say things. p.s. - Sass will bite you in the a** every time!
- Give angry people 3 minutes of your time, then remove yourself from the situation. If they are on the phone, put them on hold for 1 minute or say you must call them back and set a later time. If they are in person, find a reason to exit the conversation, or silently, physically remove yourself from the conversation by moving to the other side of the room. Allowing the person to vent for 3 minutes only, gives them enough time to vent and gives you an opportunity to hear what it is they have to say. No one ever for any reason needs to listen to more than three minutes of anger. Anything more than three minutes is an abusive tirade. Protect yourself and enough already!
- We all have at least one, natural, God given talent. If you do not now what your talent is, ask a friend to tell you. For example: perfect pitch, perfect rhythm memory, perfect visual memory, math abilities, patience, kindness, listening skills, natural athlete, artistic abilities, great friend, giving person.
- Pause, look and listen for life's little delights and miracles. They are instantaneous, small and silent. Birds on a fence, frost on the grass, flowers in a field, someone opening a door for you, a kind smile or 'Hello', a delicious dinner. Notice these small delights and take pleasure in these kindnesses from others and tiny miracles.
Monday, January 3, 2011
To Dear Carrie,
I wish you health,
I wish you wealth,
I wish you a golden store.
I wish you Heaven after death,
...but can I wish you more.
For...get...me...not...in each corner of the original page.
Photo from New York City's Central Park, 1912