Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Good Manners.....

Good Manners are always refreshing!  Growing up, I was exposed to good manners through my grandmother who truly enjoyed the finer things in life and enjoyed teaching me and my siblings how to properly set the table for a dinner party during the holidays and other family gatherings.  She was a busy lady as a school teacher and community volunteer but still found the time to teach us what was important to her personally.  I will always remember her dressing in her pearls and heels when we would go out for dinner or to the theater.

She presented me with gift of six place settings of my sterling silver, one place setting a year at a time before I graduated from college.  She purchased the silver box also where they are kept today.  Along with this, she taught me how to properly fold dinner napkins, and use the words, "Excuse me", "Thank you", "No thank you", and "Yes, please".  She wore beautiful hats and gloves and a few of those, I inherited as gifts from her later in her life.  She was what I would call a lady. She carried herself with dignity and grace until the day she passed away. I was sooo blessed by her life!

Thinking about what it means to be a lady is probably not something most young women give much thought about today.  Today the emphasis is placed on sports, education, career, physical appearance and the social life.  Times have changed but the opportunity to develop good manners is still something we can appreciate!

When my son was growing up, he was taught how to always open a door for a young lady.  He was taught that this was the polite thing to do. In today's world, some young women may not care for this gesture, but I still think of it as just plain nice behavior for a young man or really a man of any age.  

In France, one of the proper etiquette's is to say, Bonjour when entering a boutique or shop and to say Au revoir when you leave.  Yes, manners are chic! Manners make a difference.  Etiquette is much more than a set of rules.  It is about connecting with our fellow human beings in a positive and polite way!

It's never to early or to late to begin to develop manners.  We can begin by thinking before we speak.  Choosing our words wisely and guarding our words so we do not blurt out anything that comes to mind.  As I said in the post yesterday, let your words be gracious.......think about how they will be received by others.  It is so easy to hurt someone's feelings with the words we speak or write.

A simple suggestion is to teach your children by allowing them to properly set the table for dinner or breakfast on a Saturday morning when family time is not as rushed or hurried. A simple "tea time" could be an easy beginning. You could show your children how to pour the tea, hold the cup, stir the tea, and place the napkin in the lap. For dinner, you might show them how to fold the napkins properly, where to place the fork, the knife, and the spoon along side the dinner plate.  Then, most importantly, allow them an opportunity to use the utensils properly during meal time. Teach them to use words properly such as , "yes sir" and "no sir".  It may seem foreign to you and to them at first but in time, I promise, these will be the very words and actions which separate the ladies and gentlemen for the ordinary.......manners are always IN STYLE!