November 23, 2010

Remember Your Manners

READY8 “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” ~ Fred Astaire

AIM8 It’s Thanksgiving week! Folks everywhere are loosening up their belts for the big turkey day feast on Thursday. Some people are lacing up their running shoes to get ready for the super duper shopping day on Black Friday. What are you doing to prepare for the Thanksgiving weekend festivities?

Perhaps each one of us should take five minutes to sit down and write a list of a few things we are truly thankful for this year. To be honest, I’m thankful for good manners. I love it when I hear people using good manners with each other, especially in public. Sadly, good manners seem to have been lost in the shuffle from age three until adulthood. Even for some adults, good manners are a nuisance or an unspoken understanding. How in the world are our children supposed to grow up using good manners if they don’t even witness their parents, their teachers or the people they spend time with using good manners?

When we were young, our families reminded us regularly to say please and thank you. If we forgot to say either one of those words in the proper context, we were immediately reminded and promptly corrected. Nowadays, we’re lucky to hear people say thank you if we hold the doors open for them at the grocery store!

I am far from perfect and do not claim to be Miss Manners by any account. However, on occasion, I make using good manners a personal game. I will intentionally say thank you to my server every time he or she brings something to my table at a restaurant. As my server, she is putting extra effort into making my meal a great experience and because I appreciate her effort, I want to be sure to express my gratitude. It’s amazing what kind of response and attention you receive when someone knows he or she is appreciated. Have you ever tried it? What about the checkout line at the grocery store? Remember, we’ve had conversation about this situation before! Make the cashier’s day by saying thank you at the end of your transaction…especially if he or she doesn’t say thank you first!

What about good manners in your home? Do you tell your children thank you for listening and following instructions when you ask them to clean up their rooms? Are you making sure your spouse feels loved and appreciated for working to provide for your family’s needs? Play the good manners game at your dinner table, making sure each person says thank you after passing a requested item. Or better yet, making sure each person thanks the cook for creating a delicious meal to fill an empty tummy.

So, it’s Thanksgiving week. Make sure you don’t overlook the importance of being thankful for everything you are blessed to have and experience in your life. Use your good manners to express your gratitude with each person with whom you spend time with this weekend. Your expression of thanks will fill your heart with joy and the other person’s heart with kindness and love.

FIRE!8 Your mission this week is to say “Thank you” to each person who does something for you this weekend. Perhaps he may open a door or get you a drink; she might cook you a meal or bag your groceries. Whatever the task, take time to show your appreciation and say thanks!

Be Excellent!

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