Events You Should Never Miss

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

I find the above quote to be true, but the romantic in me would add something else – weddings. ūüôā Yes, I know that 12383034853% (or something like that) of weddings end in divorce. In my mind, though, they are one-time events in regards to how special they are.

My pastor has always talked about¬†non-recurring events.¬†These are¬†the events in peoples’ lives you shouldn’t miss. I’m taking this from an etiquette approach today, and I fully agree with his statement.

Regardless of how important you are or how busy your day is, the two events you should never miss are weddings and funerals. Seriously. If someone thinks enough of you to want you there when they are making a sacred vow to someone they have chosen to spend the rest of their life with, please take that to heart. Little Johnny’s soccer game dims in comparison. And it should. Recognizing the importance of other events, and, in part, recognizing the insignificance of some of our own events, such as a soccer game, is very healthy for us. It’s a needed dose of reality.

When someone you or your family knew passes away, honoring their life is important. Even if you have to take your lunch break in order to do so.

More important than which fork to use is respect of others. Pausing in our fast-paced world for a moment of honor for them. They’re not a burden on us but a blessing we can be a part of.

I would encourage all of you (and myself, of course) to make time for these non-recurring events. Thank you for reading!

 

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Slow Living In A Fast World, Part 2

Wow! I had several emails about my Slow Living In A Fast World post from people on both sides of the spectrum. I felt this definitely deserved a follow up post.

I think the idea of not caring has been promoted too much lately. We cheer when people simply give up in the sense they are going to the store in pajamas. We ask why it’s anyone else’s concern. We push entitlement in today’s society, stating we’re promoting individuality. Here are my two cents that you may not love. No one has any more right than anyone else. Just like we shouldn’t use the restroom in¬†a public place with the door wide open, there should be rules of polite society. I know, I know. There will be people who will try to tell you their intellect is higher than yours because they question “why” we shouldn’t use the restroom in front of others. In all honesty, it’s lack of respect that has led us here. It’s the lack of etiquette and respect that cause people to loot other people’s property. I truly believe humans are meant to live among other humans. Etiquette is the bridge for that. It helps us to be considerate of others. It helps with interpretation for the intentions of others. It helps us to be respectful of other people and their time.

There has to be a happy medium between putting on a fascade of everything being perfect and celebrating not caring. The sooner we can promote that etiquette is the middle ground and not either of those extremes, the more, in my opinion, people will be comfortable to use it. No matter your wealth, if you are pretentious and snooty, you are not using etiquette, just like you’re not using it if you think there shouldn’t be any boundaries between people, like in the restroom example.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

 

Slow Living In A Fast World

I’ve kept a diary since I was in the second grade. While I’ve changed a lot during those years, something that hasn’t changed is a feeling I have a hard time describing. It’s almost as if I push simultaneously pulled in two different directions. The best way I could describe it is, when I was in high school, we had an assignment to describe what we wanted to be when we were adults and how we thought our lives would go. I ended up doing the assignment twice. In one scenario I was a career woman, with one or two kids, constantly busy and wearing suits. (Sound familiar, Garrett?) In the other scenario, I was a stay-at-home mom, living in¬†a modest home with four kids. The common factor in both? I was equally as happy in one as I was in the other. I blame my constant back and forth on being a Gemini (I kid….partly ūüėČ ).

Anyhow, for a while I erroneously thought that etiquette belonged only in the first world I described. What can I say? I was young and naive. What I found, though,¬†is what I try my best on a daily basis to say on this blog. Etiquette is for everyone.¬†Whether or not etiquette applies to you have absolutely NOTHING to¬†do with how much money you make,¬†if you’re around “important” people, if you have a life that is constantly¬†being scrutinized by others, etc. It, simply, has everything to do with respect for others and for yourself.¬†I don’t know many people who want people to think of them as entitled, selfish people. In general, no one wants to be around those people. Instead, we want to develop caring, real relationships. What I struggled with the most with etiquette was losing the realness. Mind you, this struggle was years ago, but I still remember how it felt, and I think it may be something many of you can empathize with. I also hope that by sharing my personal struggle, you can see that etiquette isn’t about being fake.

I struggled with thinking I was putting on a fascade with I invited people over and had the best dishes I had at the time on the table for them. Instead I should have viewed it as an opportunity to show how much someone meant to me.

I struggled with being afraid people wouldn’t share their real emotions and fears because etiquette seemed formal to me at the time. Instead I should have learned more about etiquette to know that there is an etiquette for everything. Etiquette helps us to reduce the misinterpretations of people’s intentions.

I struggled with wondering if etiquette wasn’t needed if you weren’t rich. Instead, I should have realized that kindness costs nothing and that kindness is the bulk of etiquette.

Etiquette is NOT about living a fancy life, full of social events. You can absolutely live slowly and purposefully while utilizing etiquette.

Etiquette is about others. It’s about not being entitled and always thinking you’re the most important person in the room, even if you happen to be at that particular point in time.

Most people you meet are struggling with something. Defenses can easily be put up, and etiquette helps us take them back down. I think there’s a lot of room for grace in etiquette, which is why I focus heavily on traditions. Some parts I even tend to only talk about in a historical way, as they are no longer relevant to our lives today. Overall, though, while I think formal dinners truly are fun and a great change of pace, I realize there are SO many other parts of etiquette that are easily overlooked and are missing in today’s society. That is the are of etiquette I hope to most share with you.

Thank you for reading!