To Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss ... "The common things of common life appealed to her sympathies and called out all her attention. It was a real, hearty interest, too, not feigned, even in a sense generally thought praiseworthy. Indeed, no one ever had a more intense scorn of every sort of feigned. She was honest, truthful, genuine to the highest degree. It may have sometimes led her into seeming lack of courtesy, but even this was a failing that "leaned to virtue's side." I chanced to know of her once calling with a friend on a country neighbor, finding the good housewife busy over a rag carpet, Mrs. Prentiss, who had never seen one of these bits of rural manufacture in its elementary processes, was full of questions and interest, thereby quiet evidently pleasing the unassuming artist in assorted rags and homemade dyes. When the visitors were safely outside the door, Mrs. Prentiss's friend turned to her with the exclamation, "What tact you have! She really thought you were interested in her work!" The quick blood sprang into Mrs. Prentiss's face, and she turned upon her friend a look of amazement and rebuke. "Tact!" she said. "I despise such tact! Do you think I would look or act a lie?""
~George L. Prentiss ~ Stepping Heavenward Introductory NoteThis paragraph got me thinking about how genuine I am when someone shows me things. Am I truly interested, as I ought to be, or is it just a show to make the person feel or think that I'm interested, even though I'd rather be doing, looking or talking about something else? It just really made me check myself and strive to be truly interested in the things of other people.