Why embrace courtesy? Well, in my humble opinion, I think the people of the United States desperately needs expressions of common courtesy to each other brought to the forefront of our routine lives! We should embrace courtesy to acknowledge dignity towards another, created in the image and likeness of God. In essence, when we express courtesy, we give the person the respect (courtesy) due to a child of God; we treat the person as we would want to be treated. Father Romano Guardini speaks of this in his book, Learning the Virtues That Lead Us to God:
“…man must be honored in relation to Him who created man in His image and who requires us to honor this image” (p.142).
How often do we actually embrace courtesy?
Take a step back and think about how you would answer these questions. How often do you:
- Put yourself first at the expense of others?
- Show contempt because someone doesn’t have the right religion, address, education, job, etc.?
- Act consistently in saying please and thank you?
- Hold the door for someone with their hands full; or do you rush through because you are in a hurry?
- Interrupt another while that person is speaking? Do you do it because you think what you have to say is more important? Or is it more important for you to express your thoughts rather than listen to the other person?
- Fail to act with charitable love towards your neighbor because it is inconvenient or uncomfortable for you, and your lack of charity exacerbates the person’s suffering?
- Fail to honor your elders?
These are just a few questions to offer as food for thought on why we need to embrace courtesy and bring it to the forefront of society once again – to embrace courtesy with gusto! May someone express common courtesy to you today, and then I ask that you pay it forward by doing likewise for someone else. Expressions of courtesy cost nothing, reaping only positive benefits!