“Courtesy is a small act but it packs a mighty wallop.”
– Louis Carroll
I watched someone open the door for another when I was walking to work the other morning. The response from the recipient of the gesture was a huge smile and gratitude. I knew at that moment that simple action had effected that person’s day in a positive light, and most likely made them want to return the favor to another.
I know we are all moving at lightning speed – especially now that the summer is over, we are sprinting toward everything that comes with fall and then the inevitable holiday season craze. I find myself getting caught up in the minutia of the day-to-day. It’s easy to forget to offer simple, common courtesies. It can be holding the door for someone or letting someone get in front of you in line or even picking something up that someone has dropped. It goes so far. It reminds you of the good in people. It reminds you we are all the same. We are all doing the best we can do. Someone might be struggling with something and trying their best to show their best face, even when inside they are suffering. Simple courtesies can have a profound impact on others – even with the smallest of gestures. Recently, I received the most thoughtful thank you gift from a patient. It reminded me of what my purpose is and that making others feel good about themselves was actually my job. Their small token was humbling and filled me with excitement and gratitude for what’s to come.
I encourage you to try for a day to recognize the people around you and make an unexpected gesture. Take a moment to tell them you like their outfit, ask them if they need help carrying something, or tell them they are doing a great job. Maybe buy the person behind you a cup of coffee, or just say thank you to someone who did something kind.
Let’s bring back the common courtesy this month. You can even practice this in your own home. Encourage a family member to work towards a goal, write them a lunch note, or help them finish a task. It is a feel-good opportunity that will have a lasting effect on everyone involved.