One of the great things about living in Texas, and I have personally lived on three continents, is that people are really really nice. Criticism is rarely heard, people tend to have a smile on their face, and cashiers still address you (or me) as “Hon(ey)”. Of course, the flip side of that is that understatement is king, even when it should not be. So, you will hear, “Oh, Jimmy (question mark, voice going up), his heart is in the right place,” which really means he is hard to get along with. Other times you will hear, “Oh, Mike (question mark, voice going up), he is a really hard worker,” which means he is not the greatest family man. You might even hear, “Oh, Susie, she comes from a great family,” which means that she, the apple, has unfortunately fallen a little far from the tree.
Now, you may be asking yourselves at this point, well, so what, and what does this have to do with what we can learn from Natalya and Bret. Well, I am glad you asked. You see, the downside of softened criticism is that when you have individuals who really have their hearts in the right place, who really treat their families and friends exquisitely well, and who really make their families and friends proud just to be associated with them, your praise of them might sound faint. You see, I believe anyone who interacts with Natalya and Bret, comes away thinking, “Wow, these are good people, these are two individuals who I can count on, these are people who show how a loving couple should behave to each other, this is a couple, who I can point to my kids as a positive example to my kids.”
Let us, therefore, not be shy. Let us point out to others, what a great, compassionate, humble and kind couple Natalya and Bret are. Let us learn to continue practicing what might be called Texas nice, but let us not forget that that means we need to be more explicit in our praise, if we and our families are to look up to positive examples of behavior like the loving couple we celebrate with today.