Are we still charming?
This question can certainly be asked of a globalisation weary population. Where interaction and transaction have the potential of being mixed up, where reams of decisions regarding businesses, buildings and public spaces are taken by financially sensitive committee’s - and a busy internet platform consumes more and more of our time, having us spend many hours of our days in a virtual environment.
Charm is an effortless responsibility, you don’t have to smile, make eye contact, have a short conversation or even thank someone who serves you in a shop, café, restaurant or hotel but if you sincerely do, something nicer than a meaningless transaction takes place. Charm is entirely human and it’s this undertaking that results in something to which we all commonly connect with and enjoy.
Charm requires of us to not wear our heart on our sleeve, not make our problems someone else’s, to display empathy, tact and bring politeness and respect to our public places. It requires us to do all of this with a degree of integrity and honesty as charm is not something you can fake.
Charm takes time to nurture and requires safeguard, because once lost, it’s near impossible to reinstate. We all have experienced somewhere that we have sworn to never return too, and so many times the reason is a lack of charm, be it the place itself, the people or both. Likewise we have all met charmless people who’s unfortunate image becomes an awkward obstacle for future interactions with them.
I guess charm is something that is bred. It’s what our parents and society instil within us, be it through example or tutorial. I do sometimes wonder whether the,’ let’s give our children the best there is’ parent population of today, give enough thought as to how charming they are bringing up their precious little ones. Are they really equipping them with what it takes to lead a societally comfortable life where charm is a two way street?
So the big question, in this context must be, is Gstaad a charming place filled with charming folk? This is something each and every one of us who have something to do with the place, be it work, play or simply breathing in and out, should consider as we are surely answerable to it.
By: Peter Sonnekus-Williams