Monday, March 26, 2012

Teaching Civility to our Children

I am finding it very challenging in trying to train children to be respectful and civil when debating as often I get questions as to why so many untruths and vitriol is displayed by our political leaders?  I know historically this must be the norm, but as an educator, it is disheartening that children do not have any role models to look up too ... not even the President for all are guilty of such egregious behavior.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Manners Matter: Political Discourse - Listening to Grandmother

Manners Matter: Political Discourse - Listening to Grandmother

Manners Matter: Political Discourse - Listening to Grandmother

Manners Matter: Political Discourse - Listening to Grandmother

Political Discourse - Listening to Grandmother

For over twenty years we have been teachers and instructors in etiquette and manners to children and adults!  The obvious question is to "why" for isn't this the responsibility of the parents?  Answer I hear over and over is YES ... but the parents - now going on for two generations - lifestyle does not provide the opportunity to teach children and now with computers and games it is even harder to ingrain the simple teaching of the golden rule:  Please respect others and yourself!

 Self-esteem of the 1980's never taught the flip of the coin and perhaps the most important ...  in teaching self-esteem to our children, we forgot to teach them the importance of respecting " others" at the same time .. fast forward to today ... now our leaders from wall street to main street care less about the other and therefore compromise their honor and integrity when given a choice for financial gain!  Tragedy yes ... but the pendulum is how shifting and we are getting avalanche of requests to teach these basic, moral principles of yesteryear!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Election Campaign - What To Look For

As a teacher, I always try and tell my students the most important quality for a leader is character - honesty, integrity and a moral compass through which guides him or her in making important decisions. Character above any political party or issue is paramount. This is particularly true for the Presidency of the United States.

With this year's presidential election what is most disturbing is that many women will vote for Hillary Clinton, because she is a woman; as will blacks for Obama because he is black and even John McCain, a war hero, who suffered over forty years ago in a prison camp! There are far greater reasons one must contemplate before voting for a candidate.

Character and one's principles should be the values through which one cast their vote and any candidate should be lead by their honor and character - not by polls or media pundits who we have seen are shallow in any kind of objective analysis.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Grandmother's Wisdom - The Coming Economic Crisis

Grandmother’s Wisdom

Preserving Relationships during Stressful Times

With February being a time of focus not only for ourselves but also toward those we love, grandmother felt she had to address the subject of handling stress within the family during difficult times.

The financial cycle of expansion and growth has taken an abrupt stop with mortgage foreclosures running rampant throughout the United States. Combined with lay offs and people losing their jobs the financial burden on the family unit can be catastrophic. We saw this in the early 1980’s where people had to file for bankruptcies, families lost their homes and divorce was rampant. Today we again are in that economic cycle and no matter how well prepared, many will suffer and families will be ripped apart and destroyed. This does not have to happen!

There are basic tenants to a relationship that are critical for women to understand. Most are clueless and are so self-absorbed – especially if they are not working – and just ignore the situation as they expect their spouse to provide for the family unit so they just continue as if nothing is happening. This will lead to disaster.

Basic 101 – For Women

Some things never change, even with today’s modern generation! Men generally are masters of the family unit – by that; they are the primary bread winner for the family. By nature as it is ingrained in their DNA for centuries, they are the provider and protector of the family. They exhibit pride and confidence and oftentimes in protecting the family unit will never divulge the reality as to what may happen until it is too late.

What can I do? As a woman you must respect his silence but realize that we are in an economic downturn – you hear the news about lay offs and foreclosures so the best thing you can do is to daily exhibit acts of appreciation to your spouse! You can also spend less and try to see how you can cut corners with the family budget.

Know the difference between an entrepreneur and corporate job – most women do not! For the corporate job you have some wiggle room should you be laid off (unemployment insurance, benefits etc) but for the entrepreneur (1099 tax filing chap) he has NOTHING to fall on other than his own savings (which most likely has already been depleted with those investments that did not work out). He is most likely one month away from zero income – hopefully there are some savings that can help in those first few weeks.

The smart wife of someone who is an entrepreneur will immediately cut off the daily maid services and begin doing household chores herself.
The spouse will try and figure out a way of generating some type of income to support the family – even if a part time retail job while children in school.
Immediately cut the spending – and be tight with every penny.
Stop whining and NEVER discuss the subject with your spouse who again may be too proud. Just DO these things and not complain.
Again, the most important thing for a wife to do is to appreciate her husband. Trying to keep everything together financially while outside the home is stressful enough, and then to return at night only to be confronted by a whining wife only adds to the stress.
NEVER ask your husband to help out with anything (car pool, groceries etc) during this time. Just forget it! Wouldn’t you rather provide him with total freedom 24/7 to do whatever is necessary to generate income for the family and build the business? Generally these financial crisis times are short lived – a few months – but catastrophe will occur and failure will ensue if the wife continues in her demands on the home front. The smart spouse will be appreciative and silent!
Be aware that most likely medical insurance will have to fall into the Cobra (government) time line which only means you have months of continual coverage – but at a huge monthly increase from what you previously were paying! This only adds to the monthly budget.

Poor choices and lack of discipline generally are always at the root of a financial crisis. However, each generation was instructed on these issues but the younger generation still insists that it will never happen to them – and again they receive their life’s lesson once again.

Regardless of your circumstance, it is important always to show appreciation to your spouse. Men go out into the world and can literally move mountains if they feel their family are in 100% support of them. If they do not feel appreciated, then the stress placed upon them will cause destruction not only to themselves through health issues but also will ruptured relationships. Financial destruction if not handled properly can lead to the destruction of the family unit which will have negative influences for the children for a lifetime.

The optimal relationship of course would be one that both the husband and wife would act together as a team to figure out a strategy as to how to handle their financial situation. If you are in this type of relationship you are blessed and will certainly weather the storm - unfortunately, many relationship do not have such a solid foundation.

As women our nature is that we can meet the economic challenges and always want to discuss, plan and talk out what must be done! However, many men just are not made that way – many are silent and just too proud to admit their mistakes. The worse thing we do is to beat them up for lack of discipline and poor planning. Men will do anything outside the home to provide for their family and wish not to burden their wives with their stresses! This is just the opposite of our nature – for we share all.

As women we must accept the fact that most men are not good communicators when it comes to these downturns. However, as responsible mothers we must then in silence begin to plan a strategy and diplomatically suggest some things (part time work) that can alleviate the financial burden.

As women, we need to face the facts, develop a plan in order to have some control over the situation. Your family unit and comfort of your precious children depend on it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Real Value of Etiquette

The real value of etiquette, decorum, or good manners, is to measure the breath and scope of modern civilization. That culture only is valuable which smooths the rough places, harmonizes the imperfections, and develops the pure, the good and the gentle in human character.

The revenge of the savage, the roughness of the barbarous, and the rudeness of even some who claim to be civilized, are all lost in the good will and suavity of gentle manners. The efficiency and usefulness of a liberal education are dwarfed unless developed under the genial influence of proper decorum.

The actual worth, then, of politeness is such as to make every one who would be refined and cultured seek to cultivate it to such an extent as to make it practical in all the walks of life.
Truly, a man's manners are his fortune.

Just google search etiquette and one finds a plethora of classes for children and adults - multiple books with how to's and to do lists! However, most lack the basic premise of such an art. It is more than memorization of what to do's - instead, it should be a daily practice of improving one's character and moral responsibility to himself and to respect others - especially when confronted by opposing views and beliefs.

America today certainly have role models displaying how NOT to behave - topping the list are our erudite politicians followed by industry leaders who would sell their own souls to the highest bidder.

Hollywood has always given us opposing views as to what is best for America - historically they never are taken seriously anyway. If anything it has been quite entertaining to see them for who and what they really are - their lack of integrity and moral character richotets across the screen when the mask is off!

The one area where society has given their trust has been historically to academia - and they too joined the wave of selling their souls to the highest bidder - wasteing precious classroom time in educating our students. They we should not forgive but work dilligently within our communities to hold them responsible and to rid the campuses of this plaque of social corrpution.

Manners do reflect the wisdom of our time - therefore the value of basic decency and respect need to be taught as an artform having value. It is the glue that binds us all together.