My grandfather was a champion of manners, and one of the most basic ones he advocated was that the first thing you said to family members in the morning should be, “Good morning.” 

Not “What’s for breakfast?” or “I’m late, gotta go.”  Just “Good morning.”

In Paris this past week, I thought of my grandfather as I noticed how the French say “bonjour” and, later in the day, “bonsoir” at the start of every conversation.  Such niceties are not part of our mainstream culture here in America–but shouldn’t they be?  Is there an easier way to orient yourself toward a positive, open day than to initiate contact with other human beings with a wish for goodness?

So – bonjour, buenos dias, bon giorno, boker tov….good morning!

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