Manners Matter

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Emotion, Mental, Spiritual | 0 comments

There are two kinds of people that stand out to me, the first is the one that walks blithely through a door a few paces in front of me and doesn’t pause at all to consider holding that door; the second is the one that not only holds the door but says hello and smiles.

The person that just keeps going, I admittedly will grumble a few less than ladylike things under my breath before opening said door for my very capable self. The person that smiles and holds the door not only makes my day brighter at that moment, but I carry their act of kindness with me for a very long time.

Gender nor age make a darn bit of difference in these moments!
It is the act of kindness that makes the difference. The act of acknowledging another person and, in the case of a door, thinking I am opening it and am here, why not hold it for the person behind me? That thought and action make a difference. What about the line at the grocery store? Having a full cart and noticing the person behind you has a loaf of bread and some coffee; do you ignore that information or do you smile and say ‘hey why don’t you go ahead of me, I’ll be here a while and you just have a few items’?

One might call this ‘Random Acts of Kindness’, I call it good manners.
The ideas of ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ and paying it forward are beautiful things; yet they almost let us off the hook for being rude and thoughtless the rest of the time. Somewhere along the line our culture shifted into one where having manners made you a prude, a snob, or just plain boring while not caring to use any manners made you cool.

Common courtesy appears to have gone right out the window on the ‘cool’ breeze and for the life of me I can’t begin to comprehend why. Folks that know me might find this odd because in all honestly the first time I told my own mother to ‘F’ off I was 18 and I haven’t stopped. To be fair mother uses the ‘F’ bomb regularly and we often rue the day we added it to her vocabulary. She has also stated to others that I was a terrible embarrassment to the family and to her for my behaviors, because I often refuse to play the ‘polite’ part in situations.

I bring this up because I am not suggesting anyone change their personality.
I will always be one to speak my mind, just as some folks prefer to be a bit more reserved. I am suggesting that we all find a way to stop and think about our actions and other people around us; that we hold a door, or carry a heavy bag. That we smile at each other and say thank you, that we greet each other with a true greeting as to someone’s wellbeing. That we take a moment to simply look around and acknowledge the other human beings that are around us, traveling through the same human experience as we are, and admit that sometimes we need a helping hand with that proverbial door; that perhaps today you lend the hand and tomorrow you graciously accept the hand.

I have to caution you on the dangers of this though…acting this way feels so good that it could be habit forming! Care to take up a habit that is actually good for you?

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