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Common Courtesy


Observed the month of September
There are small things that we can do every day to show politeness and respect to our fellow man, and most won’t even require much effort. Here are my top tips for extending courtesy to others:
1. Be clear and considerate in your communication. In all things, think about being on the receiving end of your actions – or lack of as it may be. How would you feel if your call wasn’t returned or text wasn’t responded to, you received a curt and seemingly demanding email, you set aside your valuable time only for your companion to leaving you hanging and show an hour late? Communication is an exchange of information between two or more individuals – take care in how your communications could be perceived by others. Be sure to communicate in a clear and honest manner.
2. Hold the door for a stranger. Isn’t it nice when someone holds a door for you? A stranger takes the time to acknowledge and wait for you – how nice is that? This kind of thoughtfulness makes us feel good. We all walk through several doors every day. So, hold the door open for the person behind you – it takes hardly any effort at all, but may mean a lot to the person on the receiving end.
3. Say no to tit for tat. When someone is disrespectful or downright rude to you, don’t
allow it to throw you off course and stoop to their level. I’m not suggesting that you be a doormat. However, depending on the circumstance, you can either turn the other cheek, or respectfully express your thoughts and let the person know that you are wiling to engage further only if mutual consideration is shown.
4. Roadway Rituals. Being one who travels frequently, I am all too aware of the lack of common courtesy when on the road. Drivers often cut off other cars in traffic, fail to use turn signals, and my personal peeve, remain in the passing lane – refusing to let faster cars pass by them. This rudeness has a negative impact on other drivers, and can lead to ‘road rage’, or even worse – an accident. Politeness is a must for all drivers. Common courtesy will make life on the road better and safer for everyone.
5. Leave things better than when you found them. Don’t down the last cup of coffee and walk away as if you didn’t know the ewer was empty. Put on a new pot of brew so the next person doesn’t have to face the disappointment. If you see a piece wrapper or paper laying about, toss it in the trash, don’t just step over it on your way to the copier. If you are the first one home in the evening and the house is in disarray from rushed morning, tidy up, turn the lights down, put the music on and open a bottle of wine – your partner will surely appreciate the inviting environment.
Doing even a few of these things will not only have a positive impact on the people in your life or brighten the day of a stranger, but will boomerang the positivity back to you. When we stop thinking only about ourselves and consider the needs and desires of others – great things happen. We do for others and in turn, it often ends up doing more for us than for them. 


This September, let’s celebrate National Courtesy Month by showing patience, kindness and respect to our fellow man. Or be a real renegade, and practice this 24/7 365!


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