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Courtesy ~ gracious, polite, or considerate remark or act; showing respect; polished manners Please, Thank You, Excuse Me… In this day, sad to say, courtesy isn’t always “common”. The fact that the term even exists indicates that at some point in time there must have been such a thing as “Common Courtesy”. In fact, for research purposes I have been watching reruns of Father Knows Best and Andy Griffith, and you know what I’ve found? That as little as 50 some years ago courtesy was a LOT more common than it is today. While that could be discouraging news, I am instead encouraged by the fact that societal behaviors do change and perhaps if we all make a consistent effort of practicing courtesy, teaching it to our children and modeling it to all we meet, I believe we can swing the pendulum back over the next decade and courtesy will become common once again! What have we got to lose? Nothing but rudeness and arrogance and poor manners… I say let’s go for it!

We (and especially our children) are bombarded every day with examples of rudeness, inconsideration and poor manners. Just turn your TV on to primetime “family” hour. We have been slowly de-sensitized by TV, music, etc. to accept or at least tolerate this kind of behavior. The news and tabloids splash the outrageous behavior of “stars”all over the place in order to sell their goods. Bullying among children (which is nothing more than rude disrespectful behavior) is an epidemic! Behavior is learned, however, so they are learning from someone/somewhere. But… we have a choice! We can choose what we allow to enter our minds and our homes, we can choose what our children watch, listen to and who they associate with. We can choose to be courteous and kind and gracious even when others are not! If we don’t… who will?

Becoming aware is the first step. Courteous & considerate behavior is a reflection of our character. Being courteous doesn’t require much more than being aware of when someone else needs your acknowledgement or help and practicing The Golden Rule -treat others as you want to be treated-as a lifestyle.

Have we become a society that is oblivious to others and concerned only for ourselves? It seems that way sometimes, doesn’t it? Rather than resigning ourselves to it and tolerating it or trying to ignore it…why don’t we change it! Ghandi said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” It’s true and our motto should be, “If it’s to be it’s up to me!” We can hardly point our fingers at others if we ourselves aren’t practicing the behavior we want to see in others! Courtesy, like kindness and graciousness, is something that we should freely give irregardless of whether we deem it is deserved or will be returned. Those who deserve it the least are the people who need to be treated with courtesy & kindness the most! We can make a lasting impact and change in this world… “If it’s to be, It’s up to me!”

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