Elita Sohmer Clayman
Five year old Ethan, my number three grandson said to us last Sunday when we were at his home in Virginia as we all were sitting around visiting him and his sister and mom and dad ( my son)- "Be happy to each other." He must have thought his grandpa and his grammie (me) were speaking a bit loud to each other. He may have thought we were arguing and we were just discussing something. That is an amazing thought for a five year old to vocalize at his age. His understanding of people is completely very mature for his age.
We can all use that phrase in our unions with other people whether it be in ballroom dancing situations or just everyday life happenings. Too often now days, people are rude to each other in stores, in elevators, in medical offices and other situations. In my day, mom use to say if you cannot say anything nice, say nothing at all. That is how we were brought up. We respected our elders and even if we disagreed with them, we said nothing. Perhaps, it is better to be able to say something if you disagree with someone, but say it with respect and decency.
I was at a dance competition in about 1982 where a competitor who lost was so upset, she started to cry and question why she had not won the event. I was there as an observer and thought her actions not as proper as they should have been at a sport type event. However, when I did not win at an event, I held myself responsible and acted with more grace. Then months later, when I did win five out of eight events, I also acted with poise and honor. To me that was the decent manner to behave.
I was in a hair salon a while back and two ladies were arguing who was next with the hair stylist; even though the first woman had the time allotted to her and the other lady was next in time allotment.
They sparred a bit and then the stylist said to the ladies, Mary you are next and Winnie I will be with you in twenty minutes on time and the time you were put down for. Winnie was perturbed and went sulking to the back of the room. There was no need for this controversy. It was only a twenty minute wait and neither woman was young enough to have to go and pick up their children from school or whatever was necessary. They were elderly women whose husbands were waiting for them sitting in the room.
It seems Winnie was looking for a disturbance and as the kids will say looking for trouble. The hair stylist solved it because she was in charge of the situation and she held the cards as to who was going to be next.
Be happy to each other and you will feel happier yourself because you have not insulted any one or hurt any one’s feelings and therefore you will be a more respectable and virtuous human being. Sometimes the feeling you retain from being decent and happy in your attitudes is more important than doing something to offend another person.
So little Ethan in his five year old wisdom and young morals knows that if someone may be arguing, raising their voice unnecessarily, or just plain old being grumpy, will be happier when they are happy to each other. Bravo little Ethan, my darling, smart, handsome and wise little one, keep on expressing your feelings and show us grownups, we will be more erudite individuals in listening to you .Someone once said "wisdom is the soul’s natural food."
As little five year old Ethan said to be happy to each other, we can behave honorably to others in sometimes tricky situations. We will have the wisdom in our soul to make these decisions. We will be more than happy, we will be overwhelmed with the kindnesses we have spread and in return someone will be extra kind to us.
About forty-nine years ago, I had the owner of a furniture company come out to my home to check over the layout of the bedroom furniture in the master bedroom. I was thinking of getting another piece from his furniture store and he and I had been friends through the years when I was working before I married.
He was a lovely man whose name was Carroll Shiller and his company was called Shiller’s Furniture Company and I had purchased all my furniture from him when I married except for this bedroom set which I found somewhere else and loved. He came over, advised me what to do and that was that there was enough pieces in the room already and therefore I need not buy anything else from him or anyone at the present time. I offered to pay him for his time and his advice since I was not giving him a new sale.
He said to me " I am doing this for you and you think it a nice deed, I want no money for my advice, only you in turn, do something nice for someone else and no fee there either." He said " one good turn will develop into many good deeds and that is all I ask from you."
He was a very wise man and I never forgot those words. So little Ethan and Mr. Shiller are lined up together and their dual philosophy is that in simple words- we will function better and happier if we are kind to one another. Be happy to each other and the happiness will compound into a happy soul.
Elita Sohmer Clayman Baltimore, Maryland