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  • Writer's picturePaula Wesselmann

Counting My Blessings

As Easter approaches, I count my blessings. I have always inspired hope in my family, given love, and shown through example how peace comes from faith, something the outside world cannot rob us of. I value more today, than ever before, the art of communication and good manners. I grew up influenced by an American author, Emily Post, famous for writing about etiquette. She said, “Manners are the sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. Best Society is not a fellowship of the wealthy, nor does it seek to exclude those who are not of exalted birth; but it is an association of gentle folk, of which good form in speech, the charm of manner, knowledge of the social amenities, and instinctive consideration for the feeling of others, are the credentials by which society the world over recognizes its chosen members.”

When I was a Pan Am stewardess, I was reminded that variations in manners and etiquette are endless. They depend on the geography of nations, religions, and cultures. Understanding these differences avoid conflict. In Japan, chopsticks have their proper place. Leave them across your plate or lean them on the hashioki stand made for them. If left in the rice bowl it symbolizes a funeral rite. I was taught early in life that you will always shine with good manners and that they can open doors that the best of education cannot. My father, who saw the humor in life, once said, “Paula, sometime the best manners is putting up with other people’s bad manners.”

This morning as I was leaving the Blue Plate, a favorite breakfast place of ours, James, my 6-year-old grandson ambled past an elderly gentleman and said, “Good Morning,” as he waved to him with a wide smile. As I followed, the man’s solemn eyes twinkled as he grinned ear to ear. As Easter approaches, may the hope, love, and peace you hold in your heart fill you with happiness, and may its warmth spread and touch another life.

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