If You Please…

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I’m venting today about something I have been guilty of but am trying to do better about, and hope others will too. We all know communication is important. Communication is the key to personal and professional success, according to Paul J. Meyer. By communication I mean all of it – verbal, written, and even body language. Think about how an eye roll can get your emotions churned up when done at just the right time. Or how someone talking and texting at the same time sends a less-than-respectful message. Our 4-H members are in the process of practicing for District Activity Day. This is a public speaking and presentation competition where they will present original speeches on everything from “The Importance of Being Represented in the Media”, to “Origami”, and even give a musical performance. Communication is an important life skill we all need.

Effective communication needs two-way communication. If I write a letter, email, or text someone, I expect they will read it. If a comment is necessary, I expect that they will send me a response. Often when I write these articles, it is a one-way communication; however, once in a blue moon someone will say, “Hey, I read your article and….,” which is gratifying to know. For other types of communication, I don’t think we are asking too much by asking for two-way communication.

I say all of this because the act of RSVP-ing seems to have gotten lost in our fast-paced lives. RSVP is French for répondez s’il vous plaît, or please respond. On social invitations – either via mail, e-mail, or text – it is often written RSVP with a name and contact information of who to respond to. The intent being, please respond and let us know if you are or are not attending. That’s pretty simple, and important, because the host needs to know how many people to prepare for. With the cost of food and the work that goes into planning an event, it is just polite to take a second and RSVP.

That also goes for other events. For example, at 4-H we have events that include meals or supplies, and we need to know how many people will be there so we can plan appropriately. When we don’t have enough people for something, we may need to cancel the event to be respectful of people’s time and our resources. We communicate with those registered that we canceled, but how do you communicate with those not registered? So registering is important. Even if the deadline has passed, if someone calls me and asks if they can come, I will do everything in my power to make it happen, if at all possible. Effective communication is a great life skill to teach our youth now.

If you have a child ages 9-13 and would like them to learn more about other Etiquette opportunities, please consider registering them for our 4-H Etiquette Day Camp, which will take place July 13. If you would like them to learn more about Communication and other life skills, please consider registering them for 4-H. The QR Codes below will take you to our 4-H Online system to register them in 4-H, and to our Eventbrite Registration for our 4-H Summer Fun Program, where Etiquette is one of the many opportunities we are offering this year.

4-H Online QR Code

4-H Online

Eventbrite QR Code


For more information, please contact Shea Ann DeJarnette, 4-H Youth Development with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at Shea_Ann_DeJarnette@ncsu.edu or visit our website.