When did ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’ become controversial?

| vschneps@queenscourier.com |

In my wonderful world of Brooklyn I have met many unique people and one of them is Phillipa Morrish. She and her husband Larry have endlessly devoted themselves to their community.

One of Phillipa’s joys, as founder of Etiquette Training International, a finishing school program dedicated to promoting the skills necessary for success in the 21st century, is to teach young people and adults what she calls “life skills.”

In our diverse world she was planning an opportunity to offer the Bay Ridge community a better understanding of each other and the social protocols of people of different cultures when politics got in the middle. It was really comical to me that warring political factions found her classes a reason to blast Phillipa and the work she does.

I’m also a big believer in teaching “life skills.”

For example, my six-year-old grandson Blake didn’t know he should say “thank you” when a friendly woman complimented him on the hat I had lent him. I bought it in Singapore; it has a solar panel that drives a fan in the brim. Blake didn’t respond and say “thank you” because he told me the hat wasn’t his. So I gave him a lesson in etiquette.

And when I had young people who had just graduated from college join my staff, they needed help in making the transition to the business world. So I had an expert on “dressing for success” come in to do a seminar.

Fortunately for us in Queens, Phillipa is having a seminar, “Growing Tomorrow’s Leaders” for the Leos, the youth group associated with the highly respected service organization, the Lions Club.

If you or someone you know would like to attend, call her at 917-538-8426.

Living in our complex world requires many skills. For me a great day is one where I have learned something new. Thanks, Phillipa, for reminding us that saying “thank you” and “you’re welcome” can always help us all!

‘Biggest Loser’ trainer has great tips

It was just a few weeks ago that I got a copy of Bob Harper’s book on weight loss, “The Skinny Rules: The Simple, Non-negotiable Principles for Getting to Thin” and samples of his vitamins. Then, this Sunday in my newspaper delivery, was a copy of Spry, with his handsome face on the cover.

I liked the rules so I’m sharing some of them:

1. Eat 10 meals at home a week

2. No carbs after lunch

3. Never have a cheat day

4. Eat healthy foods. Plenty of vegetables.

5. Read his book!

6. Oh yes, love yourself enough to take time to work out each day.

I always take inspiration from new ideas and Bob’s book gave me plenty!