National Courtesy Month has come to an end. I know what you’re thinking, “It just flew by! I didn’t even have a chance to celebrate properly!”
Don’t worry, there’s no reason for the courtesy to end now that we’ve turned the page on the calendar into October.
I like to think of courtesy as the practice of the Golden Rule. You aren’t just doing unto others, but are treating others with the kindness and respect that you wish to have returned to you. It doesn’t always require going out of your way to be courteous; there are simple, little things you can do every day that extend courtesy to others.
Saying “please” and “thank you” is quick and easy and possibly the most common form of courteous behavior. Those words should be used liberally with friends and family and are not to be reserved for special favors, or strangers that go out of their way to help us.
Saying “You’re welcome” when someone has thanked you is often overlooked. Instead of shying away while muttering , “It was nothing,” or “No problem,” try saying “You’re welcome” the next time someone thanks you out loud.
Holding the door and the elevator for someone who is approaching. It’s nice not to have the door shut in your face. Unless you’re a medical practitioner rushing to a life-and- death situation, the 10 seconds it takes to pause and hold the door for someone aren’t going to matter.
Giving compliments when compliments are due. If you see children behaving well in public, let them and their parents know you’ve noticed. Let a stranger know you like his/her accessories or an article of clothing. It doesn’t cost you anything to make someone else feel good.
Put away the phone and make eye contact when talking with someone. In our multi-tasking world, it can be hard to do this sometimes, but it’s so important to let the people around us know that they – and what they are saying – is valued by you.
The more you practice courtesy, the easier it becomes to incorporate it in your life. So let’s keep it going all year!