Had enough of the Royal Wedding? Mesmerized by the fairy tale magic? Impressed by protocol or repulsed by pomp and circumstance? Whatever your take, there’s something to be said for the structure and orderly fashion with which the Brits operate. Not to mention their charm.
Many believe charm to be old-fashioned. JM Barrie portrayed its importance in a play he wrote in 1919 by saying, “If you have it, you don’t need to have anything else; and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t much matter what else you have.”
In this modern era it would be folly to discount the power of charm. Enid Haupt, editor of Seventeen, “One could even call charm a self-developed talent, for it reflects individuality, intelligence and warmth of spirit…..its ingredients are really only self-discipline and thoughtfulness.” Charming people are not petty, impatient or ill-tempered, but are genuinely interested in others.
There is a simple way to remember charm’s clout by using the keystones I believe comprise it.
Courtesy…..is rooted in a belief that everyone we meet is worthy of our friendship. Courtesy “gives us the opportunity to notice the beauty and giftedness of the people we encounter every day….if we seize the joy of putting aside our agendas to stop and listen,” (Gary Chapman). We are born to be in community with others. Relationships don’t have shortcuts and people are more important than schedules. NOTHING is more important than relationships….NOTHING.
Humility……is stepping down so someone else can step up. It goes against the grain of our ‘all-about-me,’ get-ahead, fast-paced world. It requires a willingness to sacrifice, especially if doing so would enhance the lives of others. Humility comes from the Latin root humus, that fertile earth from which crops are grown and harvested. Think about it…..
Authenticity……. is being exactly who you are, without pretense or ego. Like honesty, authenticity is consistency in thought, word and deed. What you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying. The essence of charm is being happy with who you are. You, and everyone else in the world will know if you’re a fake.
Restraint…..the quality of holding back, limiting yourself….Restraint requires that you check your ego at the door and use patience in allowing others to be imperfect. We often associate restraint with anger. Anger is the result of believing someone or something is holding you back from being first. “There are limits to self-indulgence, none to restraint,” (Mahatma Gandhi).
Miracles…….magical, amazing, extraordinary, unexpected surprises or events…..Invoke these keystones of charm, step back and wait for the miracles. To step back you must relinquish control and open your palms to receive. Blessings can’t be received by hands clenched in holding tightly to what we have a fear of losing. “Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control…let go of my own way, let go of my own fears,” (Ann VosKamp).
Are you now convinced of the power of charm?
“I believe that charm is one of the strongest things in the world. … a magic armour against all the hurtful, sordid things of the world….. to keep (your)self pure and untouched by the ugly things of life, and to look for beauty in everything….Go out into the world now, and spread the gospel of charm. – Eileen Ascroft (Daily Mirror, London, 1938)
~From the desk of Becky Morlok~Share with a Friend or Colleague