I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the U.S. and to several countries abroad and I never cease to be amazed at the differences between various communities and continents. We all have heard the phrase “common courtesy”, but the truth is that courtesy among strangers really isn’t that common everywhere.
In the U.S. we honk our car horns at people who don’t immediately hit the gas once the light turns green. We rarely form a line for public transportation, and we are historically some of the worst tippers in the world. Like so many bad behaviors, these represent a pattern that permeate everything that we do- in our personal and in our professional lives. Impatience, lack of gratitude, refusing to give someone a break, failure to recognize and cater to the needs of others- these are all trademark behaviors of people who no one on the planet would want to work with or for, never mind have a serious committed relationship with. We are all too quick to write off these behaviors as “being distracted” or “the cost of doing business”, but what I’d ask is, “What kind of business are you trying to do?” If you want to build relationships with your team, clients, friends, and family that are long lasting and equally beneficial then it’s to our benefit to make common courtesy a bit more common!
Monday Morning Perspective:
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” –Saint Basil
“Don’t flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become.”–Oliver Wendell Holmes
Yesterday I has the pleasure of traveling on the local water taxis, train, and bus in my explorations around Sydney and was impressed to watch men, both young and old, give up their seats to women and children sharing public transportation. Everyone greets you as you pass by, and I have exchanged in warm, friendly conversation with nearly every person I’ve met. It’s great to see that in some places around the world that common courtesy is still exactly that.
This week I challenge you to see what a difference a little courtesy can make in your daily interactions with others! You might just be surprised to learn that my grandmother was absolutely right when she said, “You can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar”. Amazing transformations occur to grouchy, unrelenting people when you least expect it- but courtesy often precedes such a change.
So until next week- G’Day Mates! And have a wonderful week!
© Crystal Dyer 2011. All rights reserved.