My husband, Ray, often writes thoughts and stories in one of the many journals he has owned over the 28 years I’ve been with him. Sometimes he writes about growing up in a small town in South Carolina, sometimes about music, sometimes about a great night on the ocean or in the mountains, and sometimes even about me. He’s a great storyteller and writer and I’ve enjoyed reading what he has shared with me and others.
On January 21, 2010, he wrote some advice for his two daughters. They would have been in their late 30’s at that time, with children of their own.
I asked him if I could share this journal entry with Fabulous Over 60 readers. He agreed.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
“Some Random Notes about Class and Style and Life”
By Raymond Green
Being wealthy doesn’t give you class or style. Class and style are about wit, manners, intelligence, the people you spend time with, the way you entertain others, the books you read and the way you handle key events in your life.
Class is treating everyone with dignity and respect.
Class is being well-spoken and well-dressed.
Class is having good manners, knowing what’s right and doing what’s right.
Someone of quality shows empathy, not just sympathy. Empathy goes well beyond being well-mannered.
Spend your time seeking wisdom and always share that wisdom with your children.
About money – make it, invest it, spend it, and give it away. Remember: “From those to whom much is given, much is required”.
About giving money away: It’s interesting. When you give it away, it seems to keep coming back.
Sometimes you will want to give with no strings attached and no expectations of a return. Be clear if it’s a gift.
Give money where you want to have a voice … your church, a political cause or candidate or a legal fight to oppose some wrongdoing.
You will not be able to give equally to your children; they will have different needs at different times. Don’t keep score.
If you loan money to your children, insist on being paid back. It will teach them to be responsible. You can always give it back or forgive the debt later.
From Walt Whitman…”Read the leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life; re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in books, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul”.
About Religion: It’s more important to be spiritual than religious.
About Friends: Choose them wisely and stay in touch with them often.
About Your Word: Say what you will do and do what you say. Your word and your actions have to be exactly the same – there are no exceptions.
About RSVP’s: Answer them. And, if you say you will be there, then be there. If you must cancel – speak to the person(s) directly – always.
Never show up empty-handed if you have been invited to stay in someone’s home. They have carved out a place for you in their world. It means that they consider you a special and trusted friend. Honor that decision.
About being on time: There are no acceptable excuses for being late. Your children will learn from your example.
About People: Everyone’s important, but there are some you will not want to spend time with. That’s OK. You will know who they are.
About Thank You Notes: Always write them. There are no good excuses not to. And, always be timely. Never email a thank you message. Write a note. Teach your children to do this, too.
Remember to treat others as you’d like to be treated – but understand that sometimes others won’t have the resources to treat you exactly the same.
Find as many opportunities as possible to watch the sunrise and the sunset and to smell the ocean and the mountains.
Always be fully engaged in life and celebrate!
Ray Green, 2010