Saturday, December 31, 2011

Here's a good New Year's resolution: Civility!

Quick! Make a New Year's resolution!

Happy New Year! While you're assessing how 2011 went and considering goals for 2012, why not think of civility?

We found an excellent article, published in Salida, Colorado's Mountain Mail, on this very subject.

"...Maybe, as we jot down our New Year's resolutions, we could add this one: ‘Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those present,’” writes Lee H. Hamilton in the article. “And then let's hope our political leaders add it to their lists, too.”

Hamilton — Director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years — knows what he's talking about when it comes to politicians and civility. That resolution he suggests comes from George Washington’s “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior” (something we’ve written about before).

“Too often in recent decades our politics have been strident, polarized, coarse — even mean,” Hamilton continues in the article. “We do not show respect to those present. We don't show respect to those who aren't present but, by virtue of television, newspapers and the Web, are just as tuned in as those who are there...And because we do not, we are all the poorer.”

We completely agree! We also agree with his reasons why it’s so important for politicians and civilians alike to practice manners.

“Incivility directly affects the quality and the quantity of the work of governance…it makes it virtually impossible to reconcile opposing views and, therefore, to meet our civic challenges,” he writes. “...Everyone in this country has a responsibility to foster a civic dialogue respecting the people with whom we disagree and advances the interests of the nation.”

And the more “ordinary citizens” can state their cases clearly without attacking those with whom they disagree, “the better our political system will work and the stronger our nation will be.”

We heartily suggest that you go here to read all of the article.

And have a wonderful 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Pasar buenas vacaciones

Trevlig helg

Bonnes vacances

즐거운 휴일 보내세요

Buone vacanze

Any way you say it, we wish it so for you and yours!

Happy Holidays!!!!!!

Debra Lassiter, April McLean & Cindy Haygood

The Etiquette & Leadership Institute

December 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Xtreme Makeover with the Ron Clark Academy!

During the season of giving, we were privileged to be a part of something truly special: making over a bedroom. It might sound small, but it's a life-changing event for a child. In this case, two children.

Every year, the Ron Clark Academy transforms a deserving child's life with the RCA Xtreme Room Makeover Competition. RCA students are selected for the event through an essay contest, and then corporate sponsors are matched with those families to renovate the bedrooms. The top three bedrooms are honored at a special ceremony at school, but it's safe to say that every child chosen for this event comes out a winner. (This was the fourth year of the challenge; you can see pictures of past winning bedroom designs here, here, and here.)

Before we got to work, we had to go shopping, of course. So we assembled a great team.

And we had some fun.

And then we actually did some work - painting, assembling new furniture, everything!

We could not wait for the family to come home! Finally, they did...

It just wouldn't be complete without a Christmas tree - or the traditional pose in front of it.

What a wonderful experience!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Guess who's taking naps on the porch

We were absolutely delighted to be interviewed by Susan of the fantastic blog, Between Naps on the Porch. We chatted about etiquette and hosting (or attending) dinner parties and holiday events.

You can read it right here!