Isn't it comforting to know you can still earn some recognition with civility and kindness? (If you spend too much time on social media you would have to believe the best way to get recognition in this crazy world is to cleverly bash someone.) The National League of Junior Cotillions released their Best-Mannered People of 2018 list. Charles Winters is President of NLJC and said, "The selections are made based on each person’s commitment to honor, dignity, and mannerly conduct." So who made the list? We'll run through the top six.
#1 Drew Brees earned the top spot for exemplary conduct both on and off the field and outstanding contributions to families in need through the Brees Dream Foundation. One of my friends covered the Saints for years and said Drew was unbelievably kind and great to work with. What we hear about him doing to give back is only a fraction of what he does. He's not doing it for the recognition.
#2 Justin Thomas came in second for treating his fans and fellow golfers with kindness and respect. And this guy is so sweet. He once interrupted his press conference after winning the FedExCup for good reason. His grandfather was calling him.
#3 Ed Sheeran was recognized for showing incredible kindness to his fans. (And he quit Twitter in 2017 so he probably has more time on his hands for human interaction.)
#4 Will Smith* earned honors for showing well-mannered conduct as a celebrity and a dad. He was so nice when we interviewed him for his movie, Concussion. (But even though he did his part to make the interviewers comfortable, you can see I was a little nervous at the beginning, based on my eyes looking like they are about to pop out of my head.)
#5 Lexi Thompson was recognized for showing professionalism and poise in the spotlight. And transparency! She publicly discussed ways in which she feels mental anguish because of social media, specifically the way it negatively affects her personal body image.
#6 Mark Wahlberg* came in sixth for being kind to everyone in his path during his acting career. I believe it! I've interviewed him three times and he's always been such a class act. My favorite movie of his is The Fighter.
*Just because you interview someone doesn't mean you get to know someone's true character, but being one step closer provides some insight. Here's how a press junket works. The actor sits in the hotel room with the camera man and sometimes handlers. The reporters wait outside and go in one at a time for their interview. Normally, you come in and sit down and shake hands and get started. Will Smith came out to the reporter waiting area before hand and chatted with everyone, making jokes and making people feel comfortable. Mark came to the door and greeted people. (Another one who does that is Hugh Jackman.)