As we raise our children, we all hope they will grow up to be happy, healthy, smart, capable and respectful (among many other things). Much of who they are is out of our control, but there are things we can affect. To me, elegance is one of them. It’s not something that is defined by how much or little money you have. Everyone can be elegant by having humility, being respectful, having good manners, being poised, and showing compassion and kindness in your interactions with others. Elegance is reflected in how you show up in the world. Very simple qualities can set you apart and invite more good things into your life.

Elegance is communicating your point of view calmly and thoughtfully even when you may not agree. It’s important to think before you react and be measured about what you say and do.

Elegance is how you carry yourself both mentally and physically in good and bad times. It can be demonstrated with something obvious such as good posture or by a general attitude of perseverance and optimism.

Elegance is acknowledging and appreciating those around you. It’s particularly important to thank people who often may get overlooked but work extremely hard. I remind my daughter to extend her gratitude to the janitors and cafeteria workers at school. Acknowledging their contributions in creating a safe, clean and enjoyable environment should be celebrated and valued.

Elegance is respecting your parents. It’s easy to take people for granted especially those who support and love you unconditionally. Perhaps I take a harder line on this given my traditional upbringing. It would have never occurred to me then or now as an adult to talk rudely or swear in front of my parents. There was an unwritten code of conduct for how we were expected to behave. Parents sacrifice a lot for their children in different ways and that should be appreciated. We need to be vigilant with our children to set high standards and be demanding. They cannot gain much, if we do not expect much.

Elegance is accepting defeat with grace and knowing that you must work harder and come back more formidable.

Elegance is having the courage not to follow the crowd. Those who are willing to challenge conventional wisdom, go against the grain and think independently should be revered, not isolated.

Elegance is hospitality, graciousness and how you make someone feel when he or she is in your presence.

Elegance is putting your own needs aside and helping others.

Elegance is knowing when to be quiet and peaceful. Having self control and patience are exceptional qualities.

Elegance is empathy. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt, being more understanding, having an open heart and an open mind is true sophistication.

Elegance is when beauty radiates from within.

Elegance is simplicity.

As you can see elegance can come in many forms (and many more than I have touched on here). All I know is that we have lots to lose if we do not maintain dignity, understanding and appreciation. So let’s expect more civility, class and grace from one another and ourselves. When we teach our children elegance, its charm becomes both fulfilling and magnetic.

So remember, elegance comes in all walks of life. So walk high and with elegance.

Roopa Weber
About Roopa Weber
Roopa Weber is a first time children’s book author who has created the Penny the Peacock series. Roopa’s inspiration for Penny came from the values and love provided by her mother. She wanted to find an avenue to instill her mother’s wisdom in her own daughter and carry the message forward generationally. And, so she wrote.