Monthly Blog - October 2016

Build a Longer Table: The Four Legs of the Table

Ready, Set... Time to Say Please and Thank You Again.

Celebrating the World Food Prize 2016


Put Your Best Foot Forward:
How Good Manners Enhance your professional and personal life.

“If you are more fortunate than others, it is better to build a longer table than a taller fence.”-Unknown

Each of us has our own personal table that helped to shape us into the person we are today.

It is around the table that life often happens.

When we are born, we sit at the table of our parents/family, then eventually we go out and establish our own table of life. Our fondest memories are often those made at a table.

The table, with its four legs and surface, can serve as a representation of life. The table can be fancy or plain, ornate or marble-topped. It can be simple pine table, or a small shop table in the barn. It could be the fold-out table we use at the tail gating party.

Are there nicks in your table? Scratches on the surface? Stains on the top?

The table witnesses many of life’s events.

The tough talks.

The happy talks.

The family celebrations and the “I just can’t sleep…need a cup of hot cocoa” at 3 AM.

The table was introduced to us as babies.

It is a subconscious phenomenon how we are shaped by the table.

Most of do not consciously remember first sitting in our high chair, with our parents thrilled we could sit up without help. My dear friend’s mother, reports to me that Julie could not sit in her high chair without a strap to hold her little body in place.

Be that as it may, the high chair was our introduction to the table. The tabled high chair was placed in close proximity to Mother or Father. When sitting in the high chair, we not only had a bird’s eye view of the activities going on, we had a large flat surface in front of us. As a toddler, this meant that all types of food was fair game for painting the surface of our built-in table with peas, spaghetti or ice cream. (Or throwing the food on the floor.) We relished in using any type of food to slather onto our face, into our hair and a small amount pushed into our mouth with two fingers. What fun.

Our parents then promptly took a photograph. This photograph would be brought out in full splendor at our high school graduation time, and everyone remarked, “Oh, how sweet!”

Our parents were simply trying to feed us. And teach us table manners. Or, at the very least, not to throw the food anywhere, including brother’s face.

Eventually, we grew up enough to sit at the children’s table, resplendent with its own little tablecloth. We watched the grownups at the big table, the merry clink of silverware and bone china etching into our hearts a loving and wonderful scene.

We also use our tables to hold our precious things: our favorite magazines, the remote control, our bowls of popcorn and snacks and our photographs.

The table is a metaphor for life.

It’s four legs symbolize the four tenants of good manners. The surface of the table represents the one force driving all of human behavior.

The four legs of the table are Trust, Respect, Love, and Honor. It takes all four legs of the table to live a principled, well-mannered life. If one of the “legs” is missing or lacking, then our persona will be off-balanced, just as a four-legged table with only three legs would be unbalanced.

In my next blogs, I will be covering in more detail, each of the four legs of the manners table.

Ready, Set…Time to Say Please and Thank You again.

COMING NEXT: Leg 1: Trust.