Okay. I know I’ve promised to share some juicy tales lately, and have yet to deliver. But in the craziness of life and travel and too much fun over the past weeks, I ran across a little gem yesterday that I wanted to share with you lovely boys and girls first. It’s from a website called Daily OM. And it definitely provides that BREATH of fresh air in terms of perspective! Enjoy!
Small Gestures Make a Big Difference
We often feel that we don’t have the time or energy to extend ourselves to others with the small gestures that compose what we call common courtesy. It sometimes seems that this kind of social awareness belongs to the past, to smaller towns and slower times. Yet, when someone extends this kind of courtesy to us, we always feel touched. Someone who lends a helping hand when we are struggling with our groceries makes an impression because many people just walk right by. Even someone who simply makes the effort to look us in the eye, smile, and greet us properly when entering a room stands out of the crowd. It seems these people carry with them the elegance and grace of another time, and we are always thankful for our contact with them. Common courtesy is a small gesture that makes a big difference.
An essential component of common courtesy is awareness and common sense—looking outside yourself to see when someone needs help or acknowledgment. As a courteous person, you are aware that you are walking into a room full of people or that your waiter has arrived to take your order. Then, awareness leads to action. It is usually quite clear what needs to be done—open the door for the woman holding the baby, move your car up two feet so another person can park behind you, acknowledge your sister’s shy boyfriend with a smile and some conversation, apologize if you bump into someone. A third component is to give courtesy freely, without expecting anything in return. People may not even take notice, much less return the kindness, but you can take heart in the fact that you are creating the kind of world you want to live in with your actions.
When you are out in the world, remember to be aware of others, lend your hand when one is needed, and give this help without an ulterior motive. Through these small actions, you make this world a better place in which to live.
Wasn’t that lovely, and yet so very true?!
Sadly, there is ONE thing I take issue with – the fact that they call it “Common Courtesy.” Courtesy is anything but COMMON!
It is that rare jewel we are pleasantly surprised by — often times when we need it most — and sometimes when we are least deserving. We stumble upon it if we are lucky enough to be graced by someone who gently wields it, or if we are aware of our surroundings, looking into the world with hope and gratitude.
Like they say “What goes around, comes around.” This weekend, my pretty people, I’d like to challenge you to become a commoner . Yep – me – Ms. Cheevious – the very essence of all things uncommon – is asking each and everyone of you to become a purveyor of “common” courtesy – and do so with grace, kindness and an overall positive attitude. I promise, if you bestow just one small gesture of kindness upon a perfect stranger, you will shine like no other, and be nothing less than uncommon and priceless.
Have a beautifully common weekend everyone!
Love you people! Mmmmmmmmphhhhuuuuuhhhh!
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Blog content copyright 2009, LISA JEY DAVIS a.k.a. Ms. Cheevious
Mary Anne says
It is true. So few people have been taught or even know that they should help their “fellow” man or woman out if they have a chance. That what goes around, comes around. But hey – even if it DIDN’T come back around to ya, why is it such a huge deal to help people out? I just don’t get it!
Because we are lazy. People are trained now to have everything brought to them. They don’t have to lift a finger to do anything – even enjoy amusement! Now video games, movies, and everything are piped into our homes – so we don’t have to leave to be social and learn how to interact politely with other people. Kids are in trouble I tell ya!
I have to say – you all amaze me. Thanks for the comments. Mimi – Thanks for the “awesome” encouragement! Mary Anne, I share your confusion over why people don’t just extend kindness. It’s no big deal! And Seth – you have captured a small part of the big picture, for sure! It still doesn’t explain why grown ups – over forty and more have lost the act of common courtesy. I like to believe that posts like this — putting them into the ether — helps restore a sense of responsibility!