Is Say Nothing, Do Nothing the Right Choice?


say nothing, do nothing

Miss Meredith Sweetpea often runs across situations where there is an obvious problem or slight, yet nobody says anything. For example, I was standing in line at a sandwich shop when a gentleman walks in and approaches the counter to order his lunch. The woman in front of me did not step up to say she was next in line. The person behind the counter did nothing either. But I said, “Excuse me, but there is a line, and this lady is next.” The gentleman looked back and then realized there was a line and graciously took his place behind me, apologizing for his mistake.His error was an innocent one because the line in this particular sandwich shop was held about 4 feet back from the counter at a “Wait Here” sign.

But this particular situation got me to wondering is “say nothing, do nothing” the right choice?

There are several ways to look at situations to decide whether to speak up or not.

Is it life or death?

If there is a circumstance where someone could be injured or killed, it is always best to step up and say or do something. I once caught a toddler as he tumbled off the end of a dock into the murky waters of a marina. I stepped in when I saw the child careening towards the edge. But nobody else did or said anything even though they all saw the situation as clearly as I did. I jumped up and grabbed the boy by the back of his shirt just as he hit the water. If I hadn’t, would the boy have been sucked under the boats and drowned? I shudder to think of it.

What if your friend had too much to drink and was getting ready to drive home. Would you stop him, take away the keys and drive him home…or do or say nothing?

Do you need to stand up for your own rights?

As in the example with the sandwich shop, I had patiently followed the rules and waited in line. Whereas most people would write off the interloper and grumble about it silently, I stood up for my rights in that situation by politely, but firmly, stating that there was a line. Was I subject to embarrassment or humiliation? Possibly. But I chose to take the chance to speak up for myself. 99.9% of the time, it turns out for the best. By the way, the woman in front of me turned to thank me. She was in a hurry to pick up her kids and was already running late. I wondered why she didn’t speak up.

Can you improve someone else’s life?

If I see a situation where I can help, I step in to do something. Recently a woman was navigating an overloaded cart at BJ’s (and you know how big those carts are) while trying to push her elderly mother in a wheelchair. Dozens of people watched as she struggled to push the chair and lug the cart across the store and out into the parking lot. Once in the parking lot, the ground slanted downward and I could see a disaster in the making, not only for the two women, but for the cars parked there. Continue reading

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Phones at a Meal–A Big No-No


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Put the phone away when eating out.

When Miss Meredith Sweetpea goes to lunch or dinner with a friend, she expects to be the sole focus of that friend for the duration of the meal. And vice versa. After all, you’ve set aside the time, energy and effort to spend time with this chosen person–not to sit and watch them interact with faceless others.

What is thoroughly annoying–and in bad manners–is when the other person places his or her phone on the table in front of them in order to continually check its oh-so-important messages. Throughout the meal, the conversation is continually interrupted by the ding of a new message, or the urgency to text back to someone. This makes the person you are with feel much less important and frustrated.

The only time it is acceptable to bring your phone out during a meal is if you expecting a very important phone call, and it is important to let the other person know in advance that you may be interrupted by this call. Otherwise, turn off the ringer and stash the phone out of sight and out of mind to concentrate on your dinner partner. Believe me, you’ll survive.

cell-phones-in-restaurant

Sadly, is this you?

Put the Phone Away and Make Human Connections

Think of the other person at the table as your invited guest–no matter who did the inviting. It is your job to be both a good host and a good guest throughout the meal. That means engaging both your conversational and listening skills.

Your life will not stop if you put away the phone for an hour or so. In fact, it will be enhanced by the interesting conversation and relationship building you will be engaging in. This world is all about human connections; not electronic ones.

Statistics show that people are lonelier now than ever, with a big part of that loneliness being attributed to social media. We’re not making real connections or building friendships that can last a lifetime. Continue reading

Book: Suck Your Stomach In & Put Some Color On!


Suck-Your-Stomach-In-book

Order the Book!

Miss Meredith Sweetpea came across a cute book recently called Suck Your Stomach In & Put Some Color On: What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters That the Rest of Y’all Should Know Too, by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, host of All Things Southern.

According to the book jacket, “Here’s everything you need to know from coping with the unexpected, competing in the Mr. Right Game Show, and raising children–to how to keep that marriage knot tied tight over time.” It is “Chock-full of Southern wit and wisdom, woven with quotes from real Southern Mamas, and sprinkled with recipes and other Southern secrets.”

Ever since the days of Scarlett O’Hara and beyond, Southern manners have showcased a woman’s “class” in Southern society. Without proper manners, a woman just “wouldn’t be accepted” into polite company.

I love all the little quotes from real Southern mothers, like:

  • “Never date anyone you wouldn’t consider marrying. You never know when you’ll fall in love.” –Lissa Spears, Natchez, Mississippi
  • “Southern ladies speak softly.”  –Monda Leggett, Denham Springs, Louisiana
  • “Just because it fits doesn’t mean you oughta wear it.”  –Tracy Nicholson, Thomasville, North Carolina
  • Continue reading

Be Careful What You Post on the Internet


girls-drinking-Meredith-SweetpeaSocial media is fun. It’s a blast to post everything you’re doing and to get “likes” from your friends and followers. Social media can also be a problem, however, depending on what you post.

The National League of Cotillions* states that, “While it is tempting to create a wild or crazy video of yourself, you need to consider the bigger picture. What if, a few years from now, you send your resume to a large corporation and they do an Internet search as part of their due diligence and up comes an offensive video with you as the star? Well, there goes your job!”

But I Deleted That Picture/Video!

“You may say, ‘Well, I had that deleted.’ Good luck! Continue reading

How to Be a Good Conversationalist


good-conversationist-between-womenMiss Meredith Sweetpea has noticed a dearth of good conversation lately. It seems people are mostly interested in themselves or have no idea what to talk about–which doesn’t make the best conversation or the best conversational partner. It is becoming increasingly difficult to enjoy social situations when people just don’t know how to have a good conversation any more.

In social groups, put away the cell phones and actually take the time to speak with–and take interest in–others in the room.

Want to be a better conversationalist?
Use these conversation tips:

Continue reading

Arriving Late Was a Way of Saying… | Meredith Sweetpea | Manners Quotes


cup-of-tea

“Arriving late was a way of saying that your own time was more valuable
than the time of the person who waited for you.”

–Karen Joy Fowler, The Jane Austen Book Club

Good Manners and Emotions | Meredith Sweetpea | Manners Quotes


cup-of-tea

“Good manners have much to do with the emotions.
To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them.”

–Amy Vanderbilt

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