Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hello in There (John Prine)

8 Simple Ways To Be Civilized And Kind That Could Make The World a Better Place
September 29th, 2008 by Danielle LaPorte

When asked what he thought of Western Civilization, Ghandi replied,“I think it would be a great idea.”

1. When you allow another driver or pedestrian to cut in front of you, isn’t it great to get The Wave? That simple hand gesture that says, thanks bud’, how cool of you to let me in.

2. When you take someone out or have them over for dinner, doesn’t it make you feel so appreciated when they give you a quick call or email the next day to acknowledge the treat?

3. A little “hello” or “g’day” when walking by someone on an otherwise empty sidewalk is so civil and sweet. (Ignoring each other in such close and fleeting proximity is dismally absurd.)

4. When a telemarketer calls, we try to resist the burning urge to be horribly rude (after all, they’re just trying to make a living.) Try this quickie: I appreciate that this is your job, but I’m not the right person for your questions, so I’m going to hang up now. Thank you anyway. Your simple kindness could renew their faith in humanity.

5. Personally, we like to receive voice mail messages that specify the reason that the person is calling. (When someone just says “Hi it’s So-and-So, can you give me a call back?” We wonder if we’re in trouble, or feel frustrated that we can’t move things forward in the mean time.)

6. How about just saying thanks when you leave the office, the gym, or class? It’s simple: See you tomorrow, thanks. There is always something to be thankful for.

7. Muster the love and courage to make eye contact with street peddlers—whether you’re giving them money or not. They feel invisible.

8. Spitting on the sidewalk is illegal in Switzerland. ‘Nuff said.

THIS WEEK: Adopt one new way of being civilized and kind. Be sure to notice how you feel in your moment of courteousness.

And even if the dignity is not reciprocated, know that the being classy is a lifestyle that has its own rewards. Manners are, as Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it, “the happy way of doing things; each one a stroke of genius and love.” So, maybe holding doors and sending thank you notes can change the world after all.

Everyday Graces: Child's Book Of Good Manners by Karen Santorum

POEM: I’m Making a List by Shel Silverstein

I’m making a list of the things I must say
For politeness,
And goodness and kindness and gentleness,
Sweetness and rightness:
Pardon me
How are you?
Excuse me
Bless you
May I?
Thank you
If you know some that I’ve forgot,
Please stick them in your eye!

QUOTE: "Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use." ~ Emily Post

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