A Return to Elegance by Lois Hewitt

I did not think life would ever be better than it was in the 1990s. My favorite fashions were now in style, flannel shirts, ripped jeans, work boots. I was finally in style. My fashion credo has always revolved around comfort. Nothing is more comfortable to me than an old flannel shirt.

As I am getting older, things are changing for me. I’m enjoying old black and white movies. Listening to Sinatra instead of Nirvana. A suit and tie looks better to me than grunge. I don’t even swear as much (except when I’m driving). I think I’m craving a return to a more elegant time.

There is a civility component from the days past that is missing today. I’m not saying that everything was perfect in the “old days.” They had their problems, but manners and respect were symbols of the time.

I never called my parents friends by their first name. I doubt I would today if I saw one of them. Holding doors, being polite, saying thank you and you are welcome were the norm. I love that level of decorum.

Growing up I was a loud, foul mouthed youth. I was not always respectful. I taught myself over the years how to act by watching others. I still have a ways to go but I’m on the right path to civility.

I think those basic behaviors are what make the difference between order and chaos. We, as a society, have forgotten or never learned the importance of showing respect to others, of minding our manners and generally being civil to each other.

You hear so many people say how they hate dealing with people. I, too, have mentioned on occasion that life would be easier without so many humans. We have, over the years, locked ourselves away from human interaction because it’s just so much easier to live. It’s easier to avoid the utter rudeness and disrespect you encounter in the real world. So many of us have created our own virtual world behind closed doors and drawn shades.

My own experience shows that the more I’m alone, the less manners I need. The less interactions I have, the less I act with elegance. But that’s not how I want to live my life anymore. I want to be elegant. I want to be graceful in action and deed.

As I have always talked about in this blog, change can come in small ways. I don’t know that not wearing flannel will make much difference, but being more cognizant in action is a way of reconnecting with my fellow human beings, which in turn can create positive change.

Today, my call is of elegance. To being more in the moment and lighting the way whenever possible.

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