I mean, they actually took out a pen, wrote a note, put it in an envelope, adhered a stamp and mailed a letter.
Don’t you love that?
With technology, our style and means of personal communication have been forever altered.
I love and can get lost in a stationery store.
I have to tell you a funny thing my grown son said the other day. We passed a pretty big stationery store and he commented that it must be a front for something illegal.
“Why do you say that?” I asked, thinking he was joking.
“Because, stationery? Really? Who shops for that?” was his reply.
Okay, and it didn’t help that he’s a male.
Etiquette entails rules like which fork goes where at a place setting and who introduces whom first, and although we’re more relaxed these days than in times past, we do ourselves a favor to at least be aware of the guidelines.
Civility and manners are still essential for us to live respectfully with one another.
Do we really want to be known as “Loud Americans?” Loud? Rude? Crass? Do we want to be surrounded by rude people? Are we careful not to contribute? Do we naturally act with decorum?
I have grown sons and when I see them open the door for others, stand on public transportation to let someone elderly take their seat, or set a nice table, I’m warmed by it.
I have grown daughters. When we talk about what we’ve been reading, the phone calls they make to their grandmother, or I hear of them bringing flowers to the hostess of a dinner party, or contributing to the meal, I’m proud.
If you have grandchildren, use teachable moments that occur – not just about manners and the importance of please and thank-you (although they’re important) but to have respect and empathy for others.
Nurture social relationships yourself. Balance on-line relationships with real face to face time. And when you’re with real live people, how do you behave?
What do you do with your cell phone when with someone? When in a restaurant? Public place? What about your car phone? How considerate are you of others when you’re with them? Can you resist texting and checking emails and taking calls while a real live friend with a heart beat, one who can make eye contact with you and laugh with you, is present?
We can engage in meaningful dialogue. We can steer conversations toward ideas rather than gossip.
Promote decency and decorum among elected officials. There were so many on-line conversations with the elections this last fall. I appreciated those who tolerated discourse and bipartisanship with one another. I avoided those who didn’t.
We’re old enough to be wise. We can be elder stateswomen who set an example of civility and grace.
A small word or written note can fill a large space in a lonely heart.
Who knows? You may even score a thank you note.