Mindful, Considerate, and Respectful

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How mindful, considerate, and respectful are you to the people around you in public? You know the feeling when you drive into a packed parking lot and see that one vacant parking spot waiting just for you? You are thinking, I timed that one perfect. You start to whip the car in, then frustration sets in – there is a shopping cart right smack in the middle of your parking spot. So, what do you do? Do you get out of the car, move the cart, then come back and park in the spot, or do you drive off frustrated? After shopping, do you leave the cart in the parking lot or do you return it to the cart return? Imagine if we all made a concerted effort to do what is considerate by returning the cart to the designated area after shopping.

What about cell phones? How many phone conversations have you been forced to hear while sitting in a restaurant, sitting in a waiting room, shopping, or standing in line at a store? There are usually signs posted in public places asking you to turn your phone off or not to use it in the building. I am guilty of this too. However, if I answer, I usually ask if I can call the person back if it’s not an emergency. Some people put the conversation on speaker, so now we are hearing their entire conversation that is none of our business. Most people really do not want to be forced to hear your conversation. Again, being mindful, considerate, and respectful of the people around us is important.

Think about table etiquette, and what we should and shouldn’t do when eating in public. There are the basics, such as gently placing the napkin in your lap, not putting elbows on the table, and not talking with your mouth full. Thanks to technology there are a few other things to think about, such as cell phones should not be placed on the table. Also, phone conversations and texting should wait until after the meal is over and you leave the table.

Let’s be honest, etiquette, which is essentially the rules and guidelines suggesting the proper and polite way to behave in society, has changed in the last couple of years. However, the importance of these life skills has not changed. Etiquette prepares us with confidence for those situations that might be out of our comfort zone. It also helps us be mindful, courteous, and respectful by doing simple, meaningful things.

That is why our 4-H program has created an etiquette program for youth. It is a fun and interactive way to learn about everything from cell phones to thank you notes, table etiquette and everything in between. To learn more about our    4-H Etiquette day camp, register your child in 4-H Online as a 4-H member. You will receive dates and times for this and all our 4-H programs.

For more information and easy access to all 4-H programs, including 4-H online, download the Robeson County 4-H app. Simply go to your App Store and download 4-H Now! When you open the app, you will be prompted to pick a program to download. You will need to choose Robeson County 4-H. Also follow us on the Robeson County 4-H blog at http://www.robeson4-h.blogspot.com

For more information, contact Wendy Maynor, Extension 4-H Youth Development Program Associate, at 910-671-3276, by Email at Wendy_Maynor@ncsu.edu, or visit our website at //robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/.