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#124: No Problem?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I had dinner out tonight and for some reason the way the servers spoke with the customers grated on my nerves.

Maybe it's not a big deal but when a server, or waiter or waitress as they were called in past days, does something that is part of their job and a customer says, "Thank you," a polite response would be "You're welcome" or "I'm happy to do it" or even "My pleasure."

But what answer did I hear repeatedly? "No problem."

Well, there is no reason it should be a problem, it's part of the job for gosh sakes.

Then there's the question, "How are you guys doing?" To me, when a woman is part of the group, the reference to guys is inappropriate. How would it be perceived if a group of guys was asked, "How are you girls doing?" A simpler question would be, "How are you?"

And, when customers were asked if they wanted another beverage, the question overheard was, "Do you want another..." instead of a more pleasant, "May I bring you another..." or some such phrasing.

It's not only restaurants where this occurs, especially the "No problem" response and the reference to guys. These are becoming the norm.

What I wonder is why did we allow this to happen? Where have common courtesies and manners disappeared to?

Am I expecting too much? Am I too old-fashioned? If it's not a problem :), I'd appreciate reading your views, for which, in advance, I will say, "Thank you."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYSUPPORTS 11/1/2009 8:21AM

    I am afraid the politness we grew up with is a thing of the past. What I wonder is, how did we let this happen? We trained our children right, didn't we? Then why have they not trained our grandchildren right? Oh well!

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BEAMISH7 10/31/2009 10:53PM

    Old fashioned politeness has gone the way of the hand written thank you note. I especially notice it when two people almost collide - around a corner, going through a door. Noone is at fault, but I - and I imagine all of you - have always said, 'excuse me,' or 'I'm sorry.' More often than not, the other person just continues on their way.

When I worked in the high school, I seldom heard kids say thank you for much and if it was I who was giving them something tangible like a grade print out or extra schedule, I would simply hold on to it till they said something. There were a certain number who were clueless till I prompted them.

I'm not certain though, Lou, that what you were hearing was a loss of civility but rather an informalizing of it. 'No problem' is a response....a recognition of your thank you. If they said nothing at all, then that would be cause for worry.

Was this a super formal fancy resteraunt or did their informality match the ambiance? For me, I've just always been grateful that I was not the one having to meet the demands of the often equally rude patrons. I wonder how many of the customers fail to request things politely.

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PEPPERLEAH 10/31/2009 9:56PM

    I see it all the time. And, there isn't a day that goes by that I am not amazed at the way people have become so desensitized to general courtesy, manners, and just being polite. It is all about what is in it for them. There is such a lack of respect anymore. It is sad to see, and I do not know what the solution is. I am sure if people were told to be nice, there would be some legal organization out there telling us we have no right to ask so much.....that we should not infringe on someone else. I believe the best thing we can do is continue to reach out with the love of Jesus.

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GABY1948 10/31/2009 9:17PM

    I also have to agree wholeheartedly, Lou. Manners have seemed to become a thing of the past. It's all about ME! That's all people think of anymore, that and the DOLLAR. Whether a restaurant or store or office, it's like the workers are doing you a FAVOR instead of serving you...Again, think of Jesus and how often he served...and washed the disciples' feet even. The bottom line is definitely if the world would get back to Jesus and His Word, it would be a far different place indeed.

Thanks for the blog, Lou.

Comment edited on: 10/31/2009 9:19:17 PM

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TWEETYKC00 10/31/2009 8:53PM

    i understand completely!!! i work in a resturant and i've worked in many places to take a few notes. i don't want to generalize too much, but i've observed that the younger the group of workers the fewer the good manners. not all young people have bad manners, but it seems from personal observations that the bigger the group, the bigger the problem! more mature servers will at least try to be aware of their actions towards customers.

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#123: How Many Tomorrows Are Left?

Friday, October 30, 2009

I've been reading a mystery titled "Wind Spirit" by Aimee and David Thurlo. The story's main character saves a young boy from an abandoned mine shaft but in the process is briefly buried under sand. She is saved but is forever changed.

In one chapter, she and a friend meet for lunch. "You know," the friend said, "hearing about what happened to you at those mines was a real eye-opener for me. Deep down we count on having lots of tomorrows to catch up on all the things we've sacrificed for our careers. But we may never get them before it's our time to check out. Death doesn't play fair."

That statement startled me and made me wonder how many tomorrows are left. How many things have been left undone? How many words have been left unspoken? What if this is our last tomorrow? What will I want to have done and said?

The things undone are numerous, but nothing significant except to complete my books.

It's the things left unsaid that have me unsettled. It's too late to say "I love you," one more time to relatives and friends who have already passed on but it's not too late for those still with us.

That seems of paramount importance, not the things we should have done but the words we should have expressed. How many more times could we have said "I love you" or "Thank you" or even "Please?"

Don't ignore the rapid passing of time. Give an extra hug to someone dear today. Tell them how much you care for them.

Do it now. Tomorrow may too late. As the book's character said, "Death doesn't play fair."

Or, as the main character replies to her friend, "Putting off something you really want to do just means that you may never get to do it."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEEPGREENBEAN 11/1/2009 1:45PM

    Thanks for the reminder to enjoy today and the company of our loved ones. emoticon

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MSOREED 10/31/2009 1:13PM

    This is so true. We never know when it's our last "I love you", or Goodbye. I try to let my family and friends know that I love them when I see them, because it could someone's last time. Great biog and thanks for reminding us of what's important

. emoticon

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JLUVSHIKIN 10/31/2009 12:27PM

    Love this blog Lou... this is really were I am at right now. Making decisions about my life, because death does not make play fair.

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BEAMISH7 10/31/2009 9:25AM

    I'd like to add saying I'm sorry when it needs to be said.
Good reminders for us all, Lou.

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MARYSUPPORTS 10/31/2009 8:56AM

    I do try and remember this every day.

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PEPPERLEAH 10/30/2009 11:30PM

    I try to alwyas remember to tell my loved ones I love them; you never know when it's the "last chance". Thanks for a wonderful blog.

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SPARKLOVE 10/30/2009 11:01PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NO_SNOW_BODY 10/30/2009 8:01PM

    I tell my family every day that I love them. I reach out to do what I consider impossible and never stop trying. I do wish I could ahve told my father I love you before he died so suddenly.

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YATMAMA 10/30/2009 7:57PM

    One of the greatest measures of comfort I have had in life is knowing that the last thing I said to my oldest niece before she died at 27 was: I love you. Insightful blog, Lou, thank you.

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HONEYBEADS 10/30/2009 7:13PM

    Great blog!

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GABY1948 10/30/2009 7:11PM

    AMEN to this, I think we all learn that every time a friend or loved one leaves this earth. What is important is that we tried as best we can and spread the word of Jesus to as many as possible. Great blog, Lou! Thanks

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GRAMMA123 10/30/2009 5:33PM

    There is no tomorrow, there's only today!

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#122: The Delete Button

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Often, we feel a great sense of accomplishment, but sometimes we sink in a sea of futility. It is during these dark times we need an aide to get us through. I may have found the ideal way to overcome our negative days -- the delete button.

A fellow SparkPeople blog today by member SIMPLY_ JAE introduced the idea of a personal delete button to help release our negative thoughts.

Such a simple, yet terrific idea. Thanks SIMPLY_ JAE.

Whenever we have a negative thought, all we need to do is hit the delete button.

I imagine many of us will wear out our first button in record time but as we become more aware of our negative thoughts throughout each day, it's probable that the use of our personal delete button will lessen.

One other method I ran across years ago is to wear a rubber band around one wrist and snap it hard when we have a negative thought. The reinforcement of the slight discomfort is meant to re-focus us on positive thinking.

But, for those for whom wearing a rubber band is not appropriate, the personal mental delete button may do the trick.

What have we got to lose but negativity?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYSUPPORTS 10/30/2009 7:02AM

    The delete button it is!

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GIBBLES5 10/30/2009 12:21AM

    That is so true.... I could definitely use a delete button and I would definitely wear it out.

IF ONLY.....

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LINDA25427 10/29/2009 10:35PM

    I love the idea of the delete button . The rubber band would hurt, because I would pull it to hard .LOL. Hope you have a great weekend . God bless. emoticon

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PEPPERLEAH 10/29/2009 10:21PM

    I love the thought of the delete button! That just makes me smile; a simple solution! Thanks, Lou!

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SPARKLOVE 10/29/2009 7:58PM

    I practice a similar thought. When I catch my mind on negative thoughts....Worries are negative thoughts, concern is ok but worry is not. I change the channel! I listen to Music that I find uplifting, I read something inspirational etc. I change the channel. Thanks for sharing emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/29/2009 7:59:14 PM

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GABY1948 10/29/2009 6:53PM

    I loved this! Gives one quite something to think about. Could I have another button to delete calories if I eat too many. There are endless possibilities for these buttons...LOL I certainly enjoyed thinking about it now and there is so much negativity in the world already it would be nice if this were all we had to do to get rid of it, eh?
Thanks, Lou!

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UMIJUNE 10/29/2009 6:40PM

    This would totally work for me, I am so glad I read this today, thanks so much.

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JLUVSHIKIN 10/29/2009 4:48PM

    Hmmm... a personal delete button... gotta mull that one a bit.

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YATMAMA 10/29/2009 3:19PM

    I love it! Does that mean I can use the MUTE button on the TV remote, too? Ohhh, that would be so grand!!!

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-PAULA 10/29/2009 3:10PM

    This is a wonderful idea. I've been using an invisible remote control to click off anyone coming around me talking negative. Now I have something for cancelling my own thoughts! emoticon

Thanks for sharing!

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EFFIED 10/29/2009 2:48PM

    emoticon Idea! You know...it's hard to be negative around postive people. WE should be the Positive.

Thanks for sharing!

God Bless!

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NANHBH 10/29/2009 2:44PM

    Dear IUHRYTR,

This is wonderful advice! A friend once told me that my thoughts create electrical impulses. If I am criticizing anyone, myself included, I should envision myself "unplugging" the negative thought before I electrocute myself!


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LIQUEURLADY 10/29/2009 2:30PM

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this.

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#121: A Chinese Fortune

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tonight I went to dinner at a delicious Chinese buffet that totally blew my calorie limit for the day.

Afterwards, as I ate the proffered cookie, I read my fortune: "If you're always a pessimist,consider just how futile that attitude can be."

That got me thinking about some differences between positive and negative times.

It seems that when we feel positive, abundant energy flows from us and we have a sense that we can do all things. Our conversations are livelier, we accomplish more. People are drawn to us. We are more outgoing.

However, when we feel negative, nothing seems to go right. People avoid us and we them. We feel bitter, unwanted and unworthy.

So, after some contemplation, it was readily obvious that a positive attitude is one to be desired, one to strive for daily. After all, does anyone truly enjoy walking around in a dark, gloomy haze of negativity?

But what about those times we slide into a blue mood? How do we get out of it?

For me, I realize the gifts I have been given to be able to see and read and hear and move about. I recall the wonders the world possesses, from glorious autumn mornings to the refreshing soft rains of spring, from the warmth of summer to the icy snows of winter when hot chocolate tastes so great.

I allow myself to appreciate the joys around me. I think of mountains and waterfalls and oceans. I give thanks for my relatives and friends and my online pen-pals. I give thanks, too, for the fun I have with my pets, all strays, two dogs and three cats, and the fun they have playing with each other.

I also give thanks that, despite some problems, I am fairly healthy and, I believe, possess a sound mind, although sometimes that can be argued. :)

I listen to upbeat music and let the tempo raise my mood. I clean some of the house and enjoy having done so.

I walk outside and simply sit and stare at clouds or stars in the sky. Doing so makes me understand how, in the big scheme of the universe, my problems are insignificant.

Basically, I allow the positive essence of the world to wash away the negativity. Getting out of a funk isn't always instantaneous. Eventually, though, my heart fills with peace and my mind becomes untroubled. Problems still exist, but they no longer appear to be insurmountable.

These are some things that work for me when the occasional negative mood hits.

What works for you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYWRITER7 10/29/2009 9:08AM

    Music, writing, or working on a new recipe really chases my blues away. I think Im loving music these days because it serves a double duty - if you dance to the music that is making you happy - you get some impromptu exercise!

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MARYSUPPORTS 10/29/2009 7:06AM

    I am in business with one of my brothers and lately he has been putting out negative vibes. I plan to have a talk with him, cause this is keeping me from my highest potential. Thanks for the blog.

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PEPPERLEAH 10/28/2009 9:38PM

    There are things tht do tend to pull me down after a while. I do my best to pray first. If possible, I also go sit outside, and watch the sky. I love to watch coulds, and by the time I have spent a few minutes of quiet time, prayer, and talking things over with my Father, my mood lifts.

Also, how can a person not feel better when they come here, and see so many positive blogs, posts, messages, support and encouragement from our spark sisters/brothers?

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SARI328 10/28/2009 8:33PM

    I sometimes start to whine a lot during swim practice, complaining about how hard the set it and I'm not getting enough rest between laps, etc. etc.

Well, just last week our coach gave us a motivational talk and handed out little bracelets (think LiveStrong bracelets) that say "A Complaint Free World.org" and you're supposed to wear it on one wrist, and move it to the other wrist every time you catch yourself complaining... it takes three weeks to build a habit, so you're supposed to keep moving the bracelet until it stays on the same write for 21 days! :) Since then I have tried to be more positive.. like when I am tired and my muscles are screaming at me and I know I still have a lot left to go, instead of complaining to my coach I just think to myself how grateful I am that all of my limbs work, I know how to swim, I have the resources to swim in such a beautiful pool, etc. etc. Before I know it, not only am I burning calories, I'm also making a nice list in my head of lots of things to be grateful for!

Thanks for the great blog :)

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FURBALLDTH 10/28/2009 8:12PM

    I hide away from people. I always have this feeling of how dare you feel down with all the blessings surrounding you. It doesn't last long. emoticon emoticon

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#120: Rainbows or Storm Clouds?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Today I saw a picture of a rainbow in a magazine and marveled at its beauty. Then I wondered about how happy the photographer must have been to capture such a sight.

That made me curious about how we project ourselves to others. Are we perceived as bright, colorful rainbows or dark, gloomy storm clouds?

Admittedly, it is sometimes difficult to be in an upbeat mood every minute of every day but, generally, how do others view us?

Be honest. are you most often a positive person? Do you look on the bright side of things? Do you anticipate happy conclusions to situations? Do you expect the best of others?

If not, why not? Sure, after a while it is easy to become cynical. Disappointments hurt. Put downs hurt even more. But do you prefer to spend time with chipper Cathy or negative Ned?

The answer should be obvious. We most enjoy being with people who build us up, who have confidence in us, who seem to put our happiness ahead of their own.

So, then, shouldn't we try our utmost to be more like rainbows that brighten the people whose lives we touch?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYSUPPORTS 10/28/2009 6:48AM

    I am a very happy upbeat person. But I really believe that it has to do with being around children all the time. When I do find myself around adults and seniors I notice that after only a little while I am not as upbeat.
Really sad if you think about it.

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SPARKLOVE 10/28/2009 1:34AM


The rich colors of the rainbow
Forge their way into our hearts
To provide a sense of comfort
When the last raindrop departs
Such a symbol, marked by beauty
Shall forever share its worth
For as long as showers tumble
Upon the riches of earth.

Jill Eisnaugle’s Poetry Collection

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HOLLY1949 10/27/2009 11:24PM

    I liked reading this blog it made me smile. I can just see you admiring the rainbow. I like rainbows too. You are right , everyone needs a shoulder to lean on now and then, but we should also be able to be the post for others can lean on .

In my family I was always the upbeat cheerful one that everyone called with their problems, I spend hours listening to the wows of others and I enjoyed being able to help them . To my up most shock I went through a horrible ordeal and reached out to those I spent many hours listening to and consoling with many ups and downs in their life year after year only to find that no one wanted to listen to my sorrow. Praise the Lord, he was there for me to lean on. There is not a friend like Jesus. When I see a rainbow I think of his promise that he will never leave us or forsake us. Holly

Comment edited on: 10/27/2009 11:27:59 PM

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YATMAMA 10/27/2009 10:35PM

    I just love that we are merely reflections of the Son! Great observations, Lou!

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JLUVSHIKIN 10/27/2009 9:31PM


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BEAMISH7 10/27/2009 8:52PM

    You ARE a rainbow always seeking the good in and for others. This is something I need to think about for me.
Good blog, Lou.

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PEPPERLEAH 10/27/2009 8:48PM

    Your rainbow is brilliant!

Great blog, Lou. I do believe that I tend to be a positive person. Thanks for posting this; good food for thought!

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