With Apologies

3 Day Quote Challenge:

  Keep you words soft and tender because tomorrow you may have to eat them,

and crow is better eaten warm.  

~ Author Unknown

I corrected my Dad’s behavior.  It sends a shudder through me even now.  I knew I had to apologize.  But Dad was not known for accepting any apology.  We were traveling in tandem, and the offense occurred at the rest stop.   I agonized over my apology for three hours until the next stop.  I said I was sorry.  Nothing.  In desperation I quoted Miss Manners, who said it is far worse to point out the bad manners of others, than it is to actually be the person with  bad manners.  (This is not a direct quote,so it doesn’t count.)   It took more than “I’m sorry” to melt my Dad’s heart.  It took knowing that I really understood what I had done, and why it was wrong.  I knew I was guilty of pointing out Dad’s bad manners.  I also acknowledged that pointing out his offense was a worse offense than anything he had done.  With this knowledge I would change my behavior.  Isn’t that the point?   Dad forgave me, and we never spoke of it again.

 

Day 1 of the 3 day Quote challenge.  Combined with today’s prompt.  Is that cheating?

 

I was nominated by Bee Organized with Pamela, who invites us into her life and gives helpful tips for reorganizing everything.  We only met recently.  New friends is one of the joys of blogging.

According to the rules,  I nominate three bloggers to participate.

Today I nominate:

Peaceful Journey, who do to a communication already published her day one.

That’s What Anxious Mom Said

Random Writing on the Bathroom Wall

Happy Read.  Two days to go.

Good Guest or Bad

response to the Daily Prompt: Guest

Whether in a well-appointed luxury  hotel, or someone’s modest hovel there are certain expectations as a guest.  As a guest we expect to be welcomed and have our needs met.  We expect a place to sleep, be warm and safe, access to facilities to care for personal needs, food and water.

In some places we are offered private, climate controlled rooms.  We might have a small kitchen, and private bath.  There might be staff to make up our bed and bring fresh towels on demand, and clean up after us.  Even complete meals may be brought right to our room.  This type of hospitality comes with a price.

Under crowded conditions, as when we are visiting family,  the welcome is expected.  We expect family to take us in, but you may have to compromise personal sleeping comfort. Sleeping arraignments are not as private nor spacious.  But room will be made for you, even if on a sofa, or with a pillow and blanket on the floor.  You might not be entirely comfortable, but you will have a warm dry place to sleep, as long as the roof is not leaking.  Food and drink will be shared, but we may have to wait upon ourselves.  There will also be a wait for the bathroom, and a wait for hot water before showers.

Being with those you love is worth the inconvenience of helping with the cooking and cleaning, and waiting our turn.   Covering up to go to the bathroom at night, or to find a midnight snack is a small inconvenience for the togetherness of family.  Following the house rules, and excepting the differences between us, and being considerate of each other to keep the peace and make things go smoothly for everyone is expected for a guest.

But sometimes things don’t go smoothly.  Sometimes we think we can be quick enough to run to the kitchen for a snack when everyone is asleep, and risk running uncovered into our mother-in-law or brother-in-law.  Sometimes we don’t think the rules apply to us, because we are adults, we have the right to our opinions, we are right and you are not so right.  We forget we are a guest and forget to be thankful.  We overstep and impose our judgement over that of our generous hosts.  We forget we are a guest and argue with our hosts, in their house, when the smarter choice would be to quietly, and peacefully leave.

Our family might even forgive us such laps, because they love us.  Then again, they might not.

 

 

Once Admired

Merriam-Webster Logo     Full Definition of politically correct

  1. :  conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated

political correctness noun
My grandmother, Florence Dismukes, never heard of politically correct.  Grandma did refer to black people as niggers, but she never used the word in a punitive, derisive, derogatory, belittling, or detracting way.  This was just the way she learned to talk many, many years ago.  Speaking to any person she used their name, and always treated everyone with respect. There was not a single person who would have corrected my Grandmother.  The most militant young black man would have been raised better than to correct an old woman who was entirely kind and respectful in every other way.  The only person who would dare to correct her was me, her 16 year old granddaughter.
“Grandma, they want to be called African-Americans,” I told her, only later was Black the generally accepted term.  “Honey, I’m to old to change the way I talk now.  But I don’t mean anything bad by it.  I treat everyone with respect and that is what is important,” she said.
This conversation took place before correctness was politicized.  People tried to be correct! People showed respect in their actions and their speech, and tried not to give offence.  The expression “live and let live” was often invoked along with the reminder to “judge not, lest you be judged.”
Politeness was expected in political discourse.  There was a way things were done.  A formal correctness controlled meetings in government, as well as other social groups.  People waited their turn, addressed the chair and group, and said their piece without interruption.  There was no name calling, and rudeness.  People spoke passionately and with conviction about issues, and then allowed the next person the same opportunity.
Unfortunately, this politeness in political discourse is only accorded to those we agree with.  If we disagree, all expectations of respect for each other is suspended.  There are no limits at to what is acceptable to get, and keep, your way.  An opinion expressed politely, without rage and righteous indignation expressed with abandon, is viewed as weak, lacking in soul, and lacking honesty.  We are seeing this daily as we go through this election cycle.
Candidates call those who disagree liars, question their physical attributes, and blame the press for the types of questions they ask and how they shape the news to mislead the voters.  It is the fault of the President, Congress, liberals , conservatives that we don’t have everything the way “we” want, and if “we” can only be loud enough, be aggressive enough “we” can fix everything.
Unfortunately, no one is listening anymore.
I would like to see a little more political correctness.  What I would like the most, is to know that the persons holding office or going for office, are there to represent my interests and make our United States a good place for all of us.

If Your Name Shortened is Bad

There are websites devoted to bad shortened names, where people publicize to the unsuspecting future parents the unfortunate shortening of a name that can lead to teasing.  This teasing is so distressing that normal children will withdraw to the point that their social development is compromised.

Many names, if shortened, are acceptable, sometimes even preferred.  Michael becomes Mike, Kristy becomes Kris, Allison becomes Ally, James becomes Jim, and no-one is really bothered.  But some otherwise delightful names, when shortened become a source of torture and pain.

April is a very nice name, but no-one ever shortened my name to A nor to Pril.   April, when shortened, becomes unpleasant enough that I wanted to legally name in the third grade, but my parents refused to consider any change.  The idea that I could have changed to using my middle name never occurred to me, and was never suggested.  I was stuck without options.

Not only other children shortened my name, but sometimes teachers, employers, other relatives. Nobody who loved or respected me ever shortened my name.  I did have a nickname in middle school, Peanut, and I like that just fine.  As I got older I learned how to stop most people from shortening my name.  If you call me anything other than my given name, I just don’t answer, because how would I know you are talking to me.  Some people for insist I am being over-sensitive.  One cousin who insisted upon shortening my name, after the third time and fair warning, got a very small amount of  Diet-Cola poured into her freshly styled hair.

I admit pouring cola on someone’s head is not a mature reaction.  It would have been better to say my goodbyes, which ultimately and irrevocably has occurred.  Saying our goodbyes is the best decision to make when someone refuses to use the name you prefer.  If James prefers to be called James, to insist on calling him Jim is disrespectful.

Our name is part of our identity and  we have the right to be called what we want.  We have the right to demand that respect from everyone.  Those who refuse to give us that respect deserve to be left in the dust..

10 Reasons for a “Show of Respect”

A comment to my last post, Manners?, got me thinking about why someone might want to make a “show of respect” even if they don’t feel respect. If we react to political posturing and sound bites we can believe that those in public office are nothing more than the puppets of special interests. When I listened to Ohio Republican and Speaker of the House John Boehner and Kentucky Republican and head of the Senate Mitch McConnell speak on CBS 60 Minutes I could see them for the concerned and intelligent people they are, and agree with much of what they said.

A Show of Respect:

  1.  gives the impression that maybe you can work together for things both parties say they want:  tax reform, easing the stress on the middle class, improving the country’s infrastructure, to promote trade, and defeat ISIS and terrorism.
  2.  does not mean agreement, but your “scowl” will not receive private nor public mention.
  3. may make the public think you are the good guys, and with an awful 15 percent approval rating for congress, and 46 percent for the president, both need that.
  4. wins the respect of any man or woman, past of present, in the military when respect is shown to the Commander-in-Chief.
  5. gives the impression that you represent the interests of the country, and not a political agenda.
  6. makes you look a statesman, and not a politician.
  7. looks like you are listening with an open mind, and not closed and decided.
  8. makes you look like somebody I might vote for (and I know exactly how important that is to you).
  9. sets a good example for others for public (and private) discourse.
  10. shows you have class.

Modesty vs Respect

I would have thought nothing of the woman I saw on the warm fall afternoon dressed in a long dress down to her ankles with a scoop neck and sleeveless top, who had probably stopped in for a little shopping after church and lunch on Sunday, while I was wearing a slip on shirt with sleeves and blue jeans, having headed home to change first thing.

The reason I even noticed was a conversation on modesty. If you prefer dresses, I am not here to change your mind. How we choose to dress is a matter of taste, culture, our society, and even our religion. I just don’t believe that how a woman dresses affects a mans behavior. Yes, how a person adorns themselves will get attention, whether it be with tattoos and henna, jewels, or clothing in different styles from street punk to refined classic, but no, I can’t agree that any of this makes a man, or woman behave in a way against their nature. When we adorn ourselves we are saying something about what we like and who we are, conservative, private, outgoing, easygoing, fun-loving, the list is nearly endless.

The woman I saw in the long dress was appropriately and attractively dressed. I dressed more casually, yet also appropriately and attractively. No one would have mistaken either one of us for being men. In my opinion, we were both suitably modest, and yet I am sure if either of us were going out on the town with our friends, or our husbands, we might dress a little more provocatively and add a little more sparkle and bling, because that is appropriate in certain settings in our culture. We would expect respect and not to be molested in any way.

Does this mean we can throw all caution to the wind? No, because unfortunately there are still predators out there who are looking for any opportunity to take advantage of a situation, and let me be clear, women are not the only people who need to be aware of predators. There are female predators as well as male predators and this blog is not about predators who don’t care how modest, how appropriate, how proper, or religious a person is. A predator is on the hunt, looking for any opening to make you their victim, and becoming a victim is not your fault.

The real question is not one of modesty, but of respect. In another conversation I commented that I liked to be “girly” while riding my motor cycle, because it attracts attention and makes me more visible on the road. A male in the group said my riding around in a nothing but a thong would get his attention. This is not what I meant by “girly,” and honestly at my age that would be closer to the old woman in the Playboy cartoons. I was offended, not complimented. I did not feel the comment was at all respectful. The man in question would not ride with his wife un-dressed in such a way, so why would he suggest such an idea. Lack of respect.

One day riding my motor cycle I dressed in white slacks, my powder blue motor cycle jacket and matching helmet, with my purse slung across my body when a couple of young men leaned out of the passenger side windows and yelled, “Hey Babe, that’s sick!” I took that as a major compliment. Imagine their surprise if they had seen the grandmotherly “Babe” under that helmet! They obviously liked seeing a woman on a bike!

We in the United States like to think we live in one of the most forward thinking countries in the world, yet women still get paid less than men for the same work as men. Women are still timid about putting themselves forward in school and business. Women want to contribute to their jobs, families and communities, but women do not want to compete with men, they want to be partners with men.

To raise girls into strong women, and strengthen the women in your life, don’t tell them how pretty they are. (Although I have to admit I do like to hear that from Hubby.) Tell her what an awesome writer she is. Tell her how insightful, accomplished, or good at something she is. Tell her how proud you are of her contribution, work ethic, and creativity. Tell her why you respect her.

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