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Power Up Passages

Out of Courtesy.

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February 17, 2005.

”Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When courtesy calls, are you quick to answer the call or do you sometimes choose to leave it unanswered instead? Not quite sure? Then maybe these questions will help you in making a better assessment. Are good manners, respect for others and common courtesy your ever-present calling cards or do you occasionally fall short in the all-important interpersonal skills department?

Do you instinctively shower friends and foes alike with good manners and even better behavior, especially when the pressure’s on and the tension is almost more than you can bear, or are you sometimes guilty of leaving your good manners on the front porch? Do you place other people’s feelings above yours at all times, even when those other people are about as rude as rude can get?

”All doors open to courtesy.”
Thomas Fuller

Hey, let’s face it; very few of us manage to keep our tempers in check at all times. Try as we might, most of us lose our cool more often than we care to admit. Bad moods, bad breaks and bad experiences can sour even the sweetest of dispositions. And when you throw irritating, annoying people into the mix, those irksome individuals that constantly grate and gnaw on our last nerve, sometimes courtesy is the last thing on our minds.

Yet, if we are ever to reach our destinies on earth and define our lives with incomparable excellence, we must rise above the racket and commit ourselves to lifetime of civility. No matter the time or place, the situation or circumstances involved, courtesy above all else will rapidly separate us from the rest of the crowd.

Even when we are pushed right to our limits, it is our duty to maintain a polite, pleasant personality. Easy? No. Impossible? Not a chance. By refusing to bend or break in the face of adversity, especially when others have blown their top, we radiate a positive charged persona that opens doors that remain closed to those in less control of their emotions.

”Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Showing courtesy to others, treating them in the manner in which you want to be treated, says a lot about you. It tells the world that you are in charge of your actions and in control of your emotions. It quietly says, in an inaudible voice that can be heard for miles all around, that you care about others and hold their well being in the highest regard. It conveys an aura of self control, a sensation of self discipline that leaves an indelible impression on everyone around you.

Conducting yourself with decorum at all times, courteously gracing those around you with charm and respect never comes easy. After all, isn’t it always easier to lash out or act impulsively when our nerves are shot or things are not going our way? Giving someone a piece of our mind may allow us to blow off some steam, but is it the right thing to do? You know the answer, don’t you?

Look, it is no small feat to continually treat others with the outmost respect and dignity. But who ever said that bringing out the best in yourself while bringing out the best in those around you is easy? Common courtesy requires discipline, which many of us choose to ignore. Courtesy also requires restraint in the face of life’s most difficult challenges, which many of us would prefer to forget. And most of all, courtesy requires resolute resilience; an uncanny knack for showing self-control when everyone else is unraveling about you.

In a nutshell, courtesy requires nothing less than the best you can give of yourself... and a little more. As Alfred Lord Tennyson once said, “The greater person is one of courtesy.” You need to be that person.

”Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of the pleasures costs nothing and conveys much. It pleases him who gives and him who receives, and thus, like mercy, it is twice blessed.”
Erastus Wiman

If there is one priceless commodity that has been tragically lost in the hustle and bustle that dominates our lives these days, it is the simple act of courtesy. It seems that showing courtesy to those around us has almost become a lost art, an increasingly rare relic from days gone by. And we are not a better society for it. However, with courtesy as your constant travel companion, you’ll quickly stand out like the proverbial diamond in the rough.

Oh sure, we can tell ourselves that we are too busy or simply don’t have the time to be courteous, but that casual copout is nothing but a feeble excuse at best. Let’s face it; we do have the time to do those things we need to do — while still being courteous and polite at the same time; if we only choose to do so. And choose so you must if you truly seek the best from yourself and your God given abilities.

The moment you fully appreciate the huge dividends that a little common courtesy pays back to you over and over again, you’ll decide that being the most courteous person anyone could hope to meet is the best no-brainer choice you’ve ever had to make. Make it — and you’ll turn your life around once and for all.

The Bottom Line: When courtesy calls, make absolutely certain that you’re never out of courtesy.


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Author: Greg Hickman


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