Courtesy Works - And Is Contagious

I saw a film on auto safety a number of years ago and it left an indelible impression. It had to do with a very grouchy man, very aggressive in traffic and any number of bad things happened to him. As a punishment he was required by the police to practice extreme courtesy for a period of week. The transformation was remarkable. He let people move in front of him on the freeway, stopped for pedestrians, etc. He also did it with a smile and a wave. The film showed the ripple effect of how the people he was kind to suddenly became courteous to others.

The rules of courtesy were developed to permit a civilized people to effectively interact with each other. Everyone trying to crowd through a doorway at the same time doesn't work. Crude table manners could be very offensive to others. The list goes on.

Often I have a need to feel I am doing something that makes a difference to my community. There aren't many areas that present themselves and I find courtesy is one of the areas where my actions can have a significant effect.

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved