Saturday, October 3, 2015

To Reject the "Why-Bother?" Attitude of Modern Culture

"The quality needed most of all, the universal attribute of all successful women,
is a zest for life ... a keen appreciation of all the pleasant things, 
great and small, which set us apart from animals to the degree that we are civilized."
Adele Williams

Nearly forty years ago, Adele Williams, in her book Gracious Living, posed the question, "Are We Becoming a Nation of Slobs?"  Bless her heart, what would Mrs. Williams say today?  Perhaps she wouldn't be too surprised because even then she wisely saw where the casual, why-even-bother mindset was heading.

Mrs. Williams tells the story of being at a dinner party with the food editor of a large metropolitan daily paper ...
"She was extolling the virtues of her Microwave oven. 'You see,' she explained, 'I can fix dinner and put everybody's serving in those individual sectional plastic trays.  They stack right on top of each other in the refrigerator, you know, then when anyone wants to eat he just puts his tray in the microwave oven and dinner is ready in a few minutes.' "

"I had to leave the table," Mrs. Williams later wrote.  "Maybe I'm a voice crying in the wilderness but what is this?  What happened to the attractively set dining table, lighted by candles, where everyone gathered for a pleasant meal at the end of the day?  What kind of people are we bringing up to run the world?"
Mrs. Williams wasn't against convenience in the kitchen, but she certainly knew nothing is inspiring about on-the-go meals stacked in the refrigerator on plastic trays.  Where was the inspiring atmosphere?  The loveliness that encouraged good conversation and an appreciation for good food, lovingly prepared?  Unlike the food editor (the irony!) of the large newspaper, Mrs. Williams understood one of the most powerfully influential roles a woman can possess is creating an atmosphere of gracious living for herself and her loved ones.

A lady possesses a keen appreciation for the details that bring beauty and pleasure to every day living.  She understands the profound difference a few fresh blooms on the breakfast table or candlelight at dinner can make in the atmosphere of the home.  She rejects the "why bother?" attitude of modern culture and chooses instead to care

Principle:  A lady rejects the "why bother?" attitude of modern culture.

Cookbook Illustration: Kay Lovelace, Culinary Arts Institute, circa 1955.


  1. Sounds like a book to add to the wish list! So beautifully put, Nancy :)

  2. Thank you, dear friend. Of course, you may borrow my copy anytime!