I read the news last week that a famous, one-time athlete donated millions of dollars to an organization. The news was everywhere for a couple of days – just in case you didn’t see it the first day the news was publicized.
There was a time when donors would grant their wealth in a quiet manner, preferring to remain anonymous, and let the glory reflect in the good that their donations created for the recipients – not in the act of them handing over a check.
In an episode of M*A*S*H, “Death Takes a Holiday,” Major Winchester received packages of chocolates from home. Of course, the other officers were incensed that Charles would not share his chocolates with them. They were even more infuriated that Charles donated a can of oysters to the orphans, which everyone saw. Eventually, we learn that Charles had been giving his expensive chocolates to the orphans and insisted on anonymity, according to his family tradition. It was a selfless gift that was made even better by the anonymity.
You see, there is great merit in doing good without all the “Look at me! Look at me!” attitudes so prevalent today. The athlete who broadcasted his donation consciously chose to make his action public, and all that I can surmise is that it was his selfish “Look at me!” Look what I did!” moment.
One of the simple enjoyments I have during the holiday season is dressing up, particularly if the occasion or activity calls for more than jeans and a shirt.
Presenting oneself in an appropriate ensemble with good personal grooming is key. Too often today, in our laid back, sloppy world, people view “dressing up” as wearing faded jeans, gym shoes, and a wrinkled sweatshirt to any occasion these days, no matter the casualness or formality of it – I have seen such “fashion” at weddings, wakes, funerals, church, concerts, and nice restaurants. I have seen people wear pajamas in public, and one huckster on television hawks his slippers that you can “wear any time, any place.” Well, there’s nothing like promoting slovenliness!
Best Friend and I were at a holiday philharmonia concert a few weeks ago. We couldn’t help but notice the varied modes of dress: ripped and faded blue jeans, a wrinkled cotton housedress, a forest green lamé pantsuit, colorful sequined jackets, sweatshirts, oversized ugly Christmas sweaters, dark suits and ties, and the most shocking of all was the micro miniskirt with thigh-high suede boots.
Why, even the current leader of the Ukraine spoke in person to the United States Congress last week in nothing better than cargo pants and a tired-looking sweatshirt. And that isn’t even the traditional Ukrainian national dress, so there was no excuse for not wearing a suit and tie. In fact, his ensemble loudly proclaimed disrespect and thuggery. Moreover, I believe there is a guy who will be going to the United States Senate next term who wears oversized hoodie jackets and jeans everywhere as his signature ensemble.
The manner in which you dress and groom yourself presents to the world how you view yourself, and it shows the world what you think of everyone else.
The way you dress also has an impact on how you communicate. I believe that when a person is dressed in clean and ironed clothing and personal grooming is neat and fresh, respectful comportment and language follows. You cannot help but feel good and speak with intelligence. This isn’t to say that is a one hundred per cent fact, that once a person combs his hair and puts on a tuxedo that magically he is metamorphosed into the personification of etiquette and the King’s English, but it does ring true in my experience with others – that a well-groomed person feels better about himself and thus exudes respect towards others in manners and language.
A person doesn’t have to be a slovenly slob at home, either. In fact, there are days that even if I stay home all day, I still comb and style my hair, put on a little makeup, and wear stud earrings. That little bit of simple grooming goes a long way into making me feel good about myself. To be an unkempt slob is to not care a wit about yourself or others.
The 2022 holiday season is drawing to a close, and soon it will be written as yet another chapter in my journal for the year. If you are attending a New Year’s Eve party, being a guest at someone’s house, or just staying home to celebrate the incoming new year, why not think well of yourself – comb your hair and dress up!