Why Not . . . Be A Modern Lady? Part Deux
Wednesday October 6, 2010

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The classification of modern brings with it an entirely new element, and in a way, the responsibility of being a lady. Just as anyone turns 18, more rights are given to them, but in the same breath, so are more responsibilities, more expectations to be met.

I find this idea of being a modern lady a privilege of sorts.  Think on it for a moment, of all of the women who have come before us who have struggled, fought, persevered so that we could be viewed as living a life by standing on our own two feet and not by leaning against someone else for the rest of our lives.  This truly is something to be celebrated and not lackadaisically tossed aside.

Last week, this series began with the first five tips on how to be a modern lady, and as we continue today, my hope is that you’ll find simple ideas that you can practice every day, as well as long term ideas that involve setting goals and staying the course until completion.  Have a look.

Think Quickly, Speak Slowly

Practicing the art of thinking quickly in any given situation rather than opening one’s mouth as the thoughts are still beginning to mull about in the mind is way to insure, as best you can, against saying something you might regret. In doing this, you also have time to ask yourself, is a verbal reaction from me necessary?

In other words, pick your battles.  Choose to place your energy in situations that benefit you and build a more positive scenario for others around you. I’m reminded of the scene in You’ve Got Mail, where Meg Ryan’s character is in the coffee shop waiting for her anonymous chat room friend to arrive.  Her tongue becomes a whip and rapidly spouts out accurate, yet hurtful comebacks to Tom Hank’s character that, while well stated, were something she later regretted.

Always Leave A Tip

View tipping a way of saying thank you, but also consider it a way of being respectful for those that have the job of waiting on you. Whether it is your hair stylist, dog sitter, bell boy, maid service or waiter, always leave the proper percentage as a tip.  Now, some may feel that a tip is a reward to be earned, and while there is some validity to this idea, I have to politely disagree. Tipping is not a reflection of the service provided, but a reflection of the manners and person you are. After all, who knows when the time will arise that you are in desperate need of a root touch up and are hoping against hope that your stylist will take you in even on her day off. I can attest that in these types of situations, if I have been a decent tipper in the past, the more likely they will be willing to accommodate their client if they can.

Educate Yourself

On a grand scale – earning a degree, to a smaller scale – staying apprised of the current events in the world, politics, community and so on, choosing to educate yourself, as well as continuing to educate yourself no matter what your age is the gateway to freedom, to choice, and ultimately to living the life of your dreams. Look at it this way.  You’re at a party or a charity event and your ability to hold a conversation with anyone in the room due to your knowledge of the network of people who are in attendance will not only give you confidence, but will also perpetuate more networking opportunities. After all, one of the first pieces of advice received(or quickly realized) upon immediately getting out of college and being thrust into the real world is  It’s not what you know, but who you know.  The catch here is you do need to know quite a bit so that you can get to know the right people. And on a different note, being aware of the world around you puts the reins in your hands, and isn’t that reason enough?

Nurture Kindness

What we foster, what we tend to, grows like a weed. It is easy to get entranced with the negative sensationalism that is found throughout so many television programs, but what about kindness? If we aren’t willing to nurture it, it can’t grow to become what we would like to see. So the next time you see a good deed being done, extend a thank you. Take the time to praise the behavior you wish to see more of and you might just be surprised by the results. And on the flip side, set the example of the kindness you wish to see in the world.  Lead by example.

Be Independent

This particular point is one of the biggest factors on what it means to be a modern woman (at least to me, and if you disagree, I would love to hear what you feel is the most definitive).  The responsibility women have placed on their shoulders has been a mighty one, but one that I wouldn’t want to give up, due in part to the alternative, but also because I know we are all capable of living up to the expectation. A truly modern woman is someone who lives by her own means, a woman who while enjoying the company she finds in relationships (significant other, family and friends) isn’t reliant on them for survival financially. A modern woman is educated, disciplined and at the same time passionate which ultimately makes her an asset in the field or career she pursues. And while wanting to spend her time and life with someone special, doesn’t need them to make her life whole.  She already is all on her own.

I do hope this week’s tips and ideas of what it means to be a modern lady were something that caught your attention.  Even if you might have disagreed on some points, I do hope you’ll share your thoughts.  And if, while reading it, other ideas of what you feel it means to be a modern lady came to mind, feel free to share.  I truly enjoy hearing you.

Click here to read Part Three of the series. And if you missed Part One, just click here.  Have a wonderful Wednesday.

8 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Be A Modern Lady? Part Deux

  1. Part II is every bit as good as Part I – merci!

    I especially love the first rule as it’s one we don’t hear preached as often as style, attitude, etc. But it’s so true: it’s so easy to get caught up in excitement or pressure and not think without speaking. But of course one can never be kind or generous or curious enough… merci for the wonderful thinking!

  2. Agree on all except the tipping part. I tip in restaurants, but not if the service was really bad. Also what goes for hair dressers etc., they get paid what they get paid. If you need a higher salary, get another job. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh. If tipping reflects manners, an investment banker should get a tip from his clients, but that’s not how it works. Manners are shown through body language and how you speak to people, not leaving your change to them. I’m okay with tipping many places when the service is good, but I hate it when they expect it. If you need to tip to feel like a lady, there is something wrong.

  3. I’m a new reader and just going through some of your archives – really enjoying your site, thanks! I have to agree, however, with anonymous about tipping. To say that tipping reflects on MY manners and person sounds manipulative, which I automatically detest! I do tip – but I always find it a bit stressful. The problem is compounded when you travel – some cultures do not expect tipping to the same extent as North America, so that can be confusing. Of course, in some countries, wait staff in restaurants are professionally trained and are paid a decent salary!

  4. I have to add that while independence is so important, life happens. I have not been able to work outside the home in 15 years due to a severe back injury. I had to leave both a well paying, amazing job with great potential.

    I think that, as part of financial independence, that women should have disability insurance. It can be very expensive and most people can’t afford it. And even if you have it, they’re not very willing to pay.

    Sometimes there are things have no control over.

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