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Old School Manners? Me thinks not…

{ Sunday, September 8th, 2013 }

I saw a wonderful post on Facebook today. It was titled, “Old School Manners.” When I read through the list, it seemed odd that they were referred to as such. They were just as basic as our ABC’s:  Practice good manners, respect your elders, and be kind. How sad that these would be considered old fashioned. I am not sure when the paradigm shift occurred. However, I am hopeful that most of us instill these “old school manners” with the children in our lives. Here are some of my favorite basics to remember, and should become second nature…It’s just a tip of the iceberg, but it is a great starting point:

Manners To Do List…Things to be mindful of this week and forever!

1.  Did you remember to listen to your parents?

2. Did you say “please” and “thank you?”

3.  Did you play nicely with your brother and sister?

4.  Did you clear your plate and drink when asked? Or, even if you were not asked?

5.  Did you take turns talking without interrupting?

6.  If you were introduced to an adult, did you speak politely, and not act silly?

7.  Did you look into their eyes and say, “it is nice to meet you?”

8.  Did you use your manners if you were at a friend’s house and follow their house rules?

9.  Did you say Good Morning, and Good Night?

10.  And lastly, did you compliment your parent(s) when they did something nice for you? Saying thank you, instead of telling them it was not what you wanted?

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Finger Bowl…

{ Sunday, September 1st, 2013 }

I recently read a great story which, after doing some research, seems to be more of an Urban Legend.  However, it made me pause and think about manners in a different light. The story explains how Eleanor Roosevelt was hosting a dinner party at the White House.  When a guest was offered the customary finger bowl filled with water and rose petals to clean her hands between courses, the guest mistook it for soup, picked up a spoon, and sipped from it. When Mrs. Roosevelt saw the error, she picked up her finger bowl and did the same. Eleanor Roosevelt’s priority was to make her guests feel comfortable. If the guest saw that she had erred terribly, she would have been humiliated. Which brings me to my new thought. Sometimes, it’s okay to not use the correct manners in certain situations. Manners mean much more than following a list of rules as to what fork to use, and what bread dish is yours. When you have a smaller gathering of friends, or are a guest at someone’s home for dinner, it is always best to read the situation. You want people to feel comfortable and at ease. If you are with a group and notice someone uses the wrong bread dish, just go with the flow. Do not call the person out, and embarrass them. Being gracious and humble are wonderful traits to strive toward.  Whether the First Lady really did do this is irrelevant. What matters is that she was always a gracious hostess who quite possibly broke etiquette rules to allow another person to feel good about themselves.