"It really bothers me when people don't use coasters. Particularly on my table." Reese Witherspoon said it best. Using coasters is a sign of respect to one's furniture and to a host in general. In the South, respect is a value we hold in high regard.
The South is not just a place to live. It's a way of life. We are known for our strong accents and even stronger values. To some, these values may be outdated or too conservative, but to me, these values are what have always guided my life. I still believe in traditional southern values, and there is nothing wrong with that.
While the South values many things, respect is generally at the top of that list. I believe in holding open doors, blessing people when they sneeze, and saying "excuse me" when you pass by someone. I believe saying "please" and "thank you" should be a habit. There is no such thing as being too polite in the South. And yes, Reese, I believe in using coasters. I believe that "yes ma'am" and "yes sir" should be used when answering someone, regardless of age. Everyone deserves respect. With that being said, I also believe that you should always respect one's opinion, even if it differs from your own. There are inevitably people out there who disagree with the values I believe in, and that is just fine. That doesn't mean one of us is better than the other; it simply means we are different.
In the South, family is of utmost importance. Family isn't just some people you see once a year or who you can't wait to get away from. Family is the people you love unconditionally, the ones you'd do anything for. I believe in having supper at the table and telling each other about your days. This means without cell phones. Here in the South, cell phones at the supper table is definitely against the rules. I also believe in spending quality time with your family, even if it means staying in to watch movies with them instead of going out with your friends on a Saturday night. I believe in coming home from college for your daddy's birthday and your sister's prom. Family is everything.
I believe summer is for chasing lightning bugs and running around barefooted. Nothing beats ice cream cranked out on a front porch. I believe in praying before meals and being in a pew on Sunday morning. God is good. I believe that there is none better than the SEC, and I believe in working hard for what you want. I believe in lending a helping hand to anyone who needs it, regardless of the situation. I believe in picking a lady up for a date, and I believe in asking her daddy for her hand in marraige. I think white pants shouldn't be worn after Labor Day, and I think pearls and manners never go out of style. Whether you're from Tennessee or Mississippi, these values ring true. Down here south of the Mason-Dixon, the tea is sweet but the people are sweeter.
God knew what He was doing when He put me in the South. These traditional southern values will always be a part of me. And I will always ask about your momma and them.