Magic Words

28 Oct

As times change, societies evolve in different ways and people change the way they receive information and react to others.  Throughout the course of history different accepted models for behavior have changed as well, and our ideas about manners and the rules of engagement have shifted along with them.  During the Victorian Era, the rules for behavior were very formal and the level of etiquette for everyone was quite high.  Our society has changed dramatically since those times, but manners are still important and there is nothing more impressive than appropriate, polite interaction.  Just remembering to say “thank you” when someone does something for us is a way to show our appreciation and acceptance.  But sometimes in the busy lives we lead, and all the distractions we face, we may neglect to speak up and instead just push forward.  There really is no substitute for showing our appreciation and taking time to be polite and considerate in our dealings.  It generally makes our interactions more positive and can smooth over any rough edges.

Many people don’t seem to value politeness in this day and age.  There is a great focus on getting things done, moving fast, and doing what is important to us.  Sadly, there is no shortage of selfishness or callousness.  But a competitive spirit and the desire to accomplish much should never keep us from being kind and considerate to those around us.  Just saying “thank you” when someone hands us something and “you’re welcome” when we are thanked goes a long way in showing people we care.  Caring for one another let’s others know we are aware of them.  If we extend ourselves just a little by being polite and sharing ourselves as we go through our days, we can be a positive influence, and the world always needs more of that.

If we choose to, we can get what we want, and do everything we need to without considering anyone else but ourselves.  We can make our plans alone, and keep our eyes down as we walk along.  We don’t have to engage others if we don’t want to, and may remain silent when someone opens a door for us, or look the other way when someone says hello. We can keep to ourselves and be as isolated as we like.  But that will never bring us the joy and growth that being open to those around us can bring.  If we take a moment to say “thank you” when someone does something small for us, it opens a door, and we’ll feel more connected and closer to them as we pass.  Being polite and gracious means being there, in the moment, and acknowledging others.  It’s said that “please” and “thank you” are magic words, and they are.  When we say them, they open doors every time.

Today if you’ve been keeping a low profile, preferring to remain silent and isolated, think about looking up and engaging those around you.  Say “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome”.  You are a great influence and everyone wants to know you.  Be gracious, be polite, and let your actions welcome them in.

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