Does anyone remember Emily Post? or is common courtesy not so common anymore?

A friend of mine emailed this to me today: “Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one’s who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you can’t get them back. So I’m gonna tie you to my heart so I never lose you.”

It really made me tie together several thoughts I’d been having lately.

When I was a little girl I was taught (as most of us were) to say please, thank you, you’re welcome, may I? (which is truly different than can I?), excuse or pardon me, etc… I was forced to sit and write letters and thank you notes to grandparents and aunts and uncles for gifts they had sent because it was the thought that mattered and we needed to let them know that we felt blessed because they wanted to give to us… I was taught children had to be polite and courteous to their elders…

My father once told me as a teenager that it was okay for me to ‘debate’, but not to argue with an elder and that I better have my facts straight before I get too deep into the ‘debate’.

He also taught me that if you have something negative to say, you should always start with a positive so you don’t put the other person on the defensive before they hear what you actually have to say. He was also known for saying, “You can’t have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.” which became one of my personal favorites as I grew up and met more and more people.

So, here’s my question, if we were all taught this, why isn’t it being passed on to the next generation? Or am I just having that battle of wits with unarmed people.

There are a couple of family members (who shall remain nameless) who seem to be under the impression that what they believe, what they want and what they say is more important than anyone else’s thoughts, beliefs, wants & needs. Their ‘silver spoon’ sense of entitlement has been the subject of many a conversation at our house. These family members are the same ones that we never receive a phone call, card, gift or thank you note from for ANY event in our lives. Not to mention they feel it is okay to complain about their gift and or request a certain item in advance for their ‘day’. I have threatened more than once to send them each a copy of Emily Post with the necessary passages highlighted. My hubby always talks me out of it. Thank God for Fedex. At least I can track and know the packages get there. Is it too much to expect that they at least let me know the package arrived or at least appear to appreciate the time, thought and effort it took to pick out the gift that best fits them?

All of this reminds me of a Bill Cosby quote, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.” that pretty much says it all!

I believe the next time a ‘gift’ event rolls around that I will send a donation in their name to my favorite charity and ‘kill 2 birds with 1 stone’. At least the charity and I will both be pleased. Does anyone out there agree with me?

Sand Flat Farm

Tamy – me again. Quick response! I don’t have any DIL’s yet – 2 sons – 26 and 22 and one daughter 19. But we have come close w some of the girlfriends. I can already tell that what you say is true about losing your sons. I dread it so much. All we can do is pray for them and for their future (or present) mates and hope that someday they will understand where we’re coming from. Good luck with your family. Stick to your guns. Your grandkids may wonder someday the “why” that you do the things you do, and who knows, they may agree… or your sons & DILs may regret that they didn’t teach these things to their kids (especially when they get to be teenagers!) I have gone back to some of the “old” ways of my parents that I rejected when I was young. They may, too! Hang in there – Vickie

Sand Flat Farm

Tamy – This is my biggest soapbox ever! I totally agree with everything you said. I’m 51, and I was taught every single thing you were. (were we family?) I have tried to raise my children the same way. I have a few people in my family that have that same “sense of entitlement” that you spoke of. Even some of our church friends have not taught their children to respect them with “sir” & “ma’am”. I’ve even had some of those parents tell us that they don’t insist as long as the kids are still respectful or, in not so many words, that it’s too much trouble and too time-consuming to teach them manners and how to write thank you notes. But it’s not always parents that are failing at our job, it’s the world around us, too, and the OTHERs out there like teachers, the media, etc. that are not teaching & modeling the same things that we are. And OUR kids are influenced by the world – “nobody else has to do that” they say. Or “everybody else is doing it” ( of course didn’t we say that, too?) I also think we (speaking of myself of course) don’t expect enough of our kids today – they have everything too easy, and don’t even know it. My parents expected me to toe the line all the time, and our kids get away with too much. Sorry to write a book…
I have to say that my oldest son has come around to our way of thinking and that I’m hoping that my other two will as they mature. My, how wise we become as we get older! Isn’t it fun to see the light go on in the head of one of your kids when they gain a little maturity and realize that mom & dad are not so dumb after all, or adopt a way of living or even manners that they rejected in the past?
Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind words about my paintings! Come back and visit anytime! And I’m going to try this pot-roast recipe – it looks delicious. Vickie


Hi! I just found your lovely blog through Brenda’s Little Cottage! I have to say I completely agree with your post! I’m not sure if it’s alot of unarmed people out there or just a complete lack of caring! It saddens and frightens me in a way and I hope in some way we can reverse this crazy trend of discourteousness! (is that a word? LOL) Thanks for your post and have a great weekend!