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The Cost of Courtesy

A Selfless and Outward Act of Respect

Courtesy is the showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior towards others. It does not cost a healthcare provider anything to be courteous to a patient. Courtesy is an outward act of respect and when demonstrated, it can create a chain reaction of events that becomes tangible from one person to another.

Committing a selfless act can change the view others may have of you, and you can change your view of someone else when observing their gestures of kindness. A simple act of holding a door open for another can bring a smile to a stranger’s face. The kind words “thank you” can be reflective of the good nature within you.

The Simplicity of Courtesy

One day a gentleman was walking into the dentist’s office before me. As I approached the entrance, he held the door open for me. His act of courtesy brought a smile to my face and a nod of appreciation. As I was leaving the dentist’s office, the same gentleman was behind me. I returned the courtesy and held the door for him to exit and I continued to hold the door for a woman to enter. As the woman walked in, she looked at me and smiled, saying “Oh, thank you”.

Have you ever approached a door and the person in front of you let the door close? How did you feel? Were you reeling with negative thoughts? That is how others may feel when you display the same lack of courtesy towards them. If a simple act of courtesy could be paid forward a million times over, our world would be a better place. Courtesy releases a new level of awareness of others that could affect our overall human nature and spirit.

Courtesy can be a taught behavior. Adults can demonstrate to children how to be courteous, and how to be respectful to others as they go through their daily activities. How adults talk to others, their tone of speech, the words they use, all have an effect on children. Children learn from adults. Positive comments produce positive actions, just as negative comments produce negative actions. So much of the conflict between people could be eliminated if they changed their behavior and attitude towards each other and began to display courtesy and respect. What example are your setting?

Courtesy Impacts All Areas of Our Lives

A few examples of small acts of courtesy that can make a big difference are holding a door open for someone else, letting a pregnant woman ahead of you in line to use the restroom, helping a senior by carrying a heavy bag to their car, and saying thank you to a service provider, mailman, grocery store clerk, or gardener.  Saying hello with a smile to a stranger will most often result in a smile back to you.

In life, the paths we choose and the relationships we develop are exemplary of our actions, and inactions. Let us choose to be courteous to each other and let us choose to have a positive impact in our community, in our workplaces, and in our journey in life to change for the better.

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