Secrets of the Southern Belle by Phaedra Parks is one of the most delightful books I have read in a long time. It was a gentle reminder of all those things my mother taught me growing up. In fact I kept flipping back to the front of the book to make sure my mother wasn’t the author.
The main component of being a “Southern Belle” is manners, which is basically living by the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This aspect seems to be solely missing in today’s world. It is extremely important as parents and grandparents, to teach our youth what it is to have proper manners – to be polite to people.
I had thought that there should be a companion book for “Southern Gentlemen”. Then I realized that, as Southern Ladies, if we raise our sons properly, they will be gentlemen.
Another aspect of this book dealt with our appearance. An area I know I have been getting gradually lazy towards. But, our appearance can affect our attitude and how we treat others. It really doesn’t take that much time or effect to spruce up a little before going out of the house. Or, even better, do a little fixing after you brush your teeth and be ready for what the day may bring. I went to school with a young lady who always freshened up before lunch…she said her mother taught her to do that because you never know what the afternoon may bring.
Most of the book covered items and areas that as a Southern Lady I would call “common sense”. But, to quote Ms. Park’s mother, “Common sense isn’t common.”