Well, I thought I’d start with a blog, and see where it goes. ‘Cause you know what they say…you never know where something can lead…
My dad had some dandy’s, that I couldn’t really appreciate until I got older. For instance:
“Manners will take you where money will not”
Wow, this one I would love to post at the entrance to every subway, health club and salad bar.
And yes, looking back, maybe this one was also drummed into me by the good sisters at St. Thomas where I went to grade school, along with the fear of Hell, but hey, my best friend went to public school, was raised Lutheran (and ate lutefisk at the holidays for Pete’s Sake, which I think would make anyone a little cranky!), and she was kind and polite. So, was it because it was the ’60s and we were raised in a small town in Illinois, and had parents who insisted on manners, that kept our manners in check? Could be. But thinking back, I just felt better “minding my manners.”
Don’t get me wrong, I have my rude moments. I own a cell phone after all. The other day, I was in a shorter check out line than I thought, and was on the phone. I did look the cashier in the eye and thanked her, but I felt some regret, that I didn’t tell the person on the other end “I’ll call you back.”
Waking up is hard to do.
The other night I went to a gallery event where my son had a showing of his clothing designs, and even though it was a young crowd, a crowd that insists on saying sh*# as often as my generation said “man” or “cool,” and alcohol, along with the familiar fragrance of a now-legal-in-small-amounts substance was abundant, no one was out of hand or rude. (I also didn’t stay past 10 – hell cat that I am). So my theory is this: I believe art, and music brings out the best in us. I believe in the power of beauty. It sure was beautiful in Crystal Lake, IL, in the ’60s. And that if we celebrate the art and beauty in the world around us as well as in each other, that manners, and kindness, are sure to follow.
Then, perhaps, manners surely will take us where no amount of money could – to peace and harmony – man.
* Here’s a tip for the next time you are cut off in traffic or someone has been thoughtless: Take in a deep breath, hold it for the count of 3, and let it out in forceful “huh huh huh” sounds, the last “huh” long and drawn out, ’til the whole breath is expelled. Take in one more deep breath and sing it out in a “ahh.” Smile. All is well.