Be Gracious

By Kimberly Hudson-Grey

We are well into the holiday season and a new year is quickly approaching. But, there’s a situation that came to my memory from last year. That whole sweet potato pie fiasco. I don’t need to mention any of the names involved. If you recall, you already know the chain of events somewhat. There were no shortage of opinions revolving around the product and persons involved, resulting in a lot of unnecessary back and forth dialog and afterthought. So, let me preference before I begin, what I’m about to say won’t be unique at all, but perhaps just a general reminder about being gracious. If you look up the word gracious you’ll find that it’s described as pleasantly kind, courteous, polite etc. In others words, for this case, Thank You would’ve sufficed.

Thank you is one of the easiest phrases in the English language. It’s one of the first things many parents (unfortunately not all) teach their kids to not only say, but mean. It’s disturbing that as a society, we have become more self-absorbed and complacent when it comes to saying thank you. I believe many people aren’t even conscious of it. How exactly has it become so easy to forget basic manners we learned as children? Recognition and validation have always been important. Everyone wants to be valued to some extent. Why else would there be so many award shows all year long? And, if there’s a certain talent or action that hasn’t been recognized, well then, let’s just create another award show.

Social media may have contributed to it. After all, it has made us less sociable, less personable and more self-seeking. Thus, many people begin to require attention through a computer screen which counter-productive, creating a “what about me, like me, look at me” type of attitude that’s devoid of being gracious and screams “please, validate me!” There’s no exact way to explain how or why because there are many explanations. Perhaps it’s just the natural progression of the world. But, whatever the case, this movement or sense of entitlement is in overdrive. However, each of us can do our own due diligence to at least be cordial.

If someone compliments you or if someone opens/holds the door for you, just say thank you. It’s easy. If someone greets you or says goodbye, just respond with the appropriate greeting. When in a social environment be present without your phone – making eye contact. Be conscious of your actions and words. At the same time, remember that it’s not all about you. Be gracious.

Kimberly Hudson-Grey is an entrepreneur and international traveler. Follow her on Twitter @dessertlove100. You can reach her by email on