Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The shelves in the bookstore aisles devoted to social graces and self-improvement are filled with great reads with useful advice. Make room for the newest, by newswoman Katie Couric, who smartly is now on a book tour she hopes will deflect some of the speculation surrounding her broadcasting future. "The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives", strings together pearls of wisdom from some of Couric's most celebrated interviews from the past spanning the worlds of pop culture and politics. Among those called on to share their advice is actress Nia Vardalos, who Couric writes, has made a conscious decision to react to society's rudeness by being even nicer. "Never fall to the level of the behavior of the people around you," Couric recounted to Matt Lauer on the Today Show, adding how that little bit of advice struck her. Couric went on to say that on the subject of manners, it really does matter, always encouraging young people looking for a job to write thank-you notes, make good eye contact, give a firmer handshake, and never forget that there are no second chances to make a first impression. I too took a moment to digest Vardalos' attitude. It is, afterall, so much easier to hit incivility with incivility. It is much harder to grin and bear it, rise above and take the higher road - over and over and over. But eventually, that lemonade-out-of-lemons approach will become habit, and hopefully contagious. Give it a try. I plan to do the same. Thanks Nia for the lesson, and to Katie for shining the spotlight on social graces. It DOES 'Manner' A Lot!

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