The Lost Art of Courtesy by Kenika



(Photo: Big Stock Photo)

Many know the “golden rule” which is to treat others the same way you would like to be treated.  The root of this principle is Biblical.  Matthew 7:12 states, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”   Although it is a Biblical concept almost all people tend to live by this mantra or idea whether they are Christians or not.  Across the board it is understood that we must be kind to others in the same way that we would want them to be kind to us.

One time I was at the airport waiting to board a flight.  If you have spent any amount of time at the airport, you understand it is not the friendliest place on the planet.  You have passengers that are trying to find their check-in counter, make it through security, perhaps find coffee or a meal, and then find their appropriate gate.  Occasionally gates change and flight times are delayed, making people irritable and aggravated.  On the other side you have curbside check-in agents, counter agents, security (TSA), Gate agents, et cetera that have a job to do and they have to deal with disgruntled people all day every day.  There are a lot of moving parts and moving people each with their own agenda or goal to accomplish. Because of this, there is a lot of room for misunderstandings and offense.

While I was waiting to board my flight I overheard one lady almost chasing down another lady.  The first lady was exiting the restroom, and the second lady was following her.  The lady that was following her said, “Ma’am” like four times before she turned around. Finally when the lady turned around, I overheard, “Ma’am, I am really sorry if I bumped into you in the restroom (I didn’t mean to)”.  The other lady, almost in shock, replied by saying that it was no problem at all.  I don’t know why this impacted me so much but it did. To see such courtesy and kindness for seemingly no other reason but to be courtesy and kind was refreshing to me.  I thought to myself, “Am I this persistent and consistent with being courteous?”  “Would I extend myself that far to demonstrate the ‘golden rule’?”  It was refreshing to see that common courtesy was not dead.  That there was someone out there who decided to stop what they had going on, put aside their own agenda to make sure that someone else was not hurt or offended.

I could totally flip this concept and make it even more in depth for those of us who serve the God that created this idea, but I believe the idea stands on it’s own. I was impressed to see that common courtesy is still alive and well, an even more was willing to challenge myself to express the same courtesy to others.  The top of the year is always a great time to evaluate where we’ve been and where we need to be. We should evaluate ourselves to see if we have extended this to everyone we encounter and if not, do our best to resurrect courtesy in order to sow seeds of kindness and impact the lives of everyone we meet.