What has happened to common courtesy? This is more than just saying please and thank you, I am talking about polite behavior. People used to tell me all the time that I was kind and it used to make me mad. It felt a lot like being a doormat to me. I wanted to be cool or tough or anything but kind. Good grief. But, as I have matured, I realize what a wonderful compliment I have been given.
I have made a habit of getting to know the names of the people that I am in contact with. Businesses give their employees name tags for a reason. How hard is it to call someone by their name? Restaurants have their servers introduce themselves to each group of patrons for a reason. I don’t think it is so we know who to complain about! Try calling your server by name. You will be amazed at the difference in service you receive. And they will remember you when you return. If you forget their name, it’s ok, just look at their name tag.
What about the check-out lane? When I get my receipt, I say thank you and their name. Reactions are amazing. I also like to pay people compliments. If they look nice, I tell them. If they have a new haircut, pretty eyes, anything that makes a person special, I say it. It doesn’t do me any harm and it might just make someone’s day. It also helps me to focus on the positive instead of the negative. The other night we were at dinner and John told me that a server’s perfume was really nice. I told him to tell her and she smiled so big when he did. Small things make big impacts.
What on earth did we do before cell phones? They have made our lives much easier but they also have created an environment of people oblivious to the world around them. Do we really have to answer every call when it comes in? We have a vibrate button and voice mail so we can be courteous to the people around us. We should be using them when we are in areas where others will be disturbed.
Don’t even get me started on driving, except to say, how hard is it to let someone in? Are we really so self important that one car in front of us will make or break us?
When walking our dog Rosie, I always clean up after her. I am not perfect by any means but it should not have to be an ordinance for heaven’s sake, we should do it because it is the right thing to do. Cleaning up after yourself and flushing the public toilet ladies, do we really need to be told to do that? Apparently so.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” seems to have gone out of style. How many times have you thought that you should send “so and so” a note or give them a call? Don’t just think about it, follow through. Do it. Think of the things in your own life that would mean something to you and start doing it for someone else.
I think we should have a National Courtesy Day, maybe we already do and no one told us about it. Problem is that courtesy doesn’t cost anything but some effort and a smile so there is no money in it.
When I went to my 20th High School Reunion, I had so many people tell me that kindness was what they remembered most about me. When I went to the 35th (YIKES), it was similar. If kindness is my legacy, I have lived a good life.