I thought I’d stray from the food issues this week a little bit and bring up another subject – etiquette and manners, values and beliefs as well as demeanor.

At the risk of sounding “old fashioned” I have to ask, do you care how you present yourself to the world?  Personally I prefer NOT to look like an idiot to the masses. Of course this is just my opinion, but I believe the world can be a kinder, better place.  I’m a huge believer in positive attitude and that the positive attitude you have will create a happy life, if only you allow it to.

All families have words and issues sometimes.  These are some of my favorite TV families that had issues at times, but presented a cohesive family unit without profanity, sexual innuendo every other word and action or cattiness.  They were wholesome and taught their children the value of manners, etiquette, kindness, fairness, right from wrong, respect for their elders and how to live by setting an example.

One of the things that irks me most is that kids today, girls in particular, don’t seem to care how they present themselves to the world.  Just a couple of examples would be how they dress.  Now, I’m not a prude by any means, but if I were even 5-10 pounds over weight I would not be wearing a skin tight tank top in public allowing the rolls of fat the “hang” out with my bra straps and thong showing.  I also know that tattoos are “IN”, but  think about it girls, where it is now isn’t where it will be after a kid or two or gravity catches up with you in 20 years. Are you someday going to want to wear that strapless wedding dress?  Do you really want that skull and cross bones in your wedding pictures?  As for the boys, no one wants to see your boxer shorts, really we don’t.  I find nothing funnier than watching you walk down the street constantly pulling your pants up so you don’t trip.  They invented belts and buying correct sizes for just for that reason.
Next would be their speech.  Hey even I cuss sometimes, we all do in certain instances, usually anger.  But, using the “F” word in their everyday conversations in loud voices is just plain vulgar.  It doesn’t make them tough, smart or cool looking.  Using it in print on social networks is just stupid!  Do they not realize what the permanency of looking like an idiot, a gossiper or back stabber on social networking sites can do to them, their families or their futures.  
I recently read about a girl who was whining about how she hated her job on facebook.  Her superiors read about it too.  Then they fired her.  Now before you say they didn’t have the right, think about it.  What she did was bad PR for her employer in a public forum. Then there are the job candidates who are never even hired because HR researched them on social networks and just didn’t think they would be good representatives of their company based on how they carry themselves in public.  I also read a “friends” rants and raves on facebook about a customer and it didn’t take much of an imagination to know who she was “hypothetically” talking about.  I remember reading a story about an insurance agent who was fired after discussing a case in an elevator.  She didn’t use names, but she did happen to describe the exact symptoms of another passenger on the elevator.  That passenger filed a complaint with the insurance company and the agent was let go.  There is a sense of privacy that no longer exists in today’s world.  We all need to be responsible for our words and expressions, freedom or not to say them or express them.
I’ve also read about potential college candidates whose college applications were declined because of their “my space” pages or “facebook” entries.  You can talk about freedom of speech or freedom of expression, but have we as a society taken it a bit too far?  I do believe you can get your opinion across without using obscenities every other word.  I just did.
I’m all for teaching kids right from wrong, good from bad, how to be independent and think for themselves, but I’m also all about teaching them when they should be kind, thoughtful, generous, helpful and when to hold back a bit and show compassion and understanding. 

It’s not always all about us as individuals.  In fact, most of the time it isn’t, but much of today’s generation truly seems to be a “ME” group with an inflated sense of entitlement, a serious lack of manners or a sense of etiquette and a lack of compassion.  Being conservative in our thoughts and actions is a way to protect what’s right about our families, our life and our communities.

My nephew asked me the other day if I thought I was June Cleaver or something.  Now being called June Cleaver does not offend me, I just say thank you and politely walk away. And you know what?  My nephew thanked me for that home cooked meal, clean laundry and knowing just how to help him.  You know, the “June Cleaver” kind of stuff. LOL

This concludes my soapbox and brings me to my fun news.