The older I get the more I see around me that something is missing in life. I don’t mean in my life, I mean in the world.
I was brought up in the era where manners were taught and more importantly used. I can still hear my Mum telling me she may not have been able to give me all the financial things in life, or the best start in life but she made sure I had manners and they would get me further than money or degrees. And yes I have repeated this to my children too.
Please, and thank yous were drilled into me as soon as possible. Offering seats to other people no matter how knackered you were, opening doors for elderly, if you did wrong you apologized and meant it. You said excuse me when it was needed and you were taught to talk to others, ask how their day was etc. You were basically taught to treat others how you would like to be treated.
We were nice.
We were nice to each other.
I knew I had to write thank you letters. There was no debate or question and I still linger wistfully when I see a nice notelet set in a shop.
There was more of an effort on saying nice things. We weren’t out just to complain and get a free voucher. I would often lose Mum in a shop because she was off finding the manager to tell them how well a member of staff had done. If she was around now she would have Head Office Finder booked marked on her iPad for sure.
Something else my Mother installed in me was giving compliments face to face. Not just churned out when someone gave you one. But be the one to brighten someone else’s day. She said to find the thing that you love in others and when you see it in them compliment them. Now, this took me many years to understand let alone grasp. Complimenting someone on their smile came over cheesy, as too their hair. I use to love shoes, whooaa who I kidding I still love shoes. So I use to compliment people on nice shoes. But then I started to see ugly shoes. Scruffy shoes. People were clearly not polishing their shoes every Sunday evening anymore.
I also work part of the week behind a counter so don’t get to see many shoes, I switched to smells. If a customer smells nice I tell them. It’s a beautiful thing to see a smile flash across a ladies face when you comment on their perfume. You’ve noticed them. You’ve noticed they mad an effort. Granted some look at me like I’ve just landed from Mars and I have also been impulsively squirted with some strange smelling perfumes that they obviously love and don’t suit me.
Interestingly though, it can be the quickest way to make a man blush. I guess they don’t get strange women commenting they smell nice when all they want is to get their tobacco and milk.
And for full disclaimer I just can’t tell the not to nice smelling people they smell awful. But if you leave my shop and hear air-freshener squirting, take it from me your not smelling so nice.