Remembering your “P’s and Q’s”

As a child, I remember being told to “Mind my P’s and Q’s” my grandmother and my mother. Although I never asked what that meant, it wasn’t long before I surmised that it meant, at least in my family, that I was to remember my manners: Remember to say please when asking for something; Remember to say thank-you when someone does something for you, hands you something, or gives you something; Keep your elbows off the dinner table; Address adults with yes or no, ma’am – yes or no, sir; Chew with your mouth closed; and list goes on.

For the better part of 57 years, I lived in Northern Illinois, and in those years, I saw basic manners decline among many of the students I taught. In fact, one year I had a student tell me that he/she (I can’t remember) didn’t have to show me (the teacher) respect until I showed the student respect. Unfortunately, that student had no idea what respect even looked like.

When we moved to Tennessee, I found that children are more often expected to remember their manners and develop an attitude of gratitude.

Last night at a concert, the idea of gratitude was replayed in a song.

Do you display an attitude of gratitude? In other words, are you thankful for what you have and do you appreciate what you have? Not just the materialistic things in your life, but the people, your health, your job, the experiences?

Working to develop an attitude of gratitude was introduced to me several years ago at a Happiness Club meeting. The more we take a look at the day we had and search to identify some things we are grateful for, the more our mood can improve. I have been on again / off again in writing in a gratitude journal; in fact, I wrote about my struggle with it in an article simply titled “Gratitude Journal.”

I know I feel better when I write down three things to be grateful for each day. It just might improve your daily outlook on life as well.

Here’s my start.

Today, I am grateful for

  1. The warm welcome we felt and the help we got when we got to the F.R.O.G. International Rally.
  2. Warm showers at the Elkhart 4-H County Fairgrounds facility.
  3. Good food shared with new friends.

How about trying it?

What are three things you are grateful for today?

Thanks for reading.


As you move through your day-to-day activities and responsibilities, please remember to

Live Life –

Keep Things Simple –

Look for the Positive –



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