Well, Hello There! Thank you for joining me today. I’m Jaimeson. And you are? Lovely to meet you. Here, let me grab you a seat …
Did you notice anything in the introduction of this episode? I hope so. I hope you felt welcomed, wanted and that I am genuinely interested in you. Showing you Kindness, Respect and Common Courtesy!
I honestly started thinking that today’s life lesson would be titled more toward Politeness and how we, as a society are not “polite” to each other.
Then, as I was journaling and writing my thoughts about politeness, it naturally rolled into thinking about kindness and we are “posting” and “saying” Be Kind to One Another, but then in real, everyday life, we aren’t very kind to each other.
Which then rolled into thinking about and realizing that maybe what we’ve lost is “Common Courtesy”!
So today is going to be all about Politeness, Kindness and bringing back Common Courtesy. We will probably jump around and these topics will definitely intertwine and overlap, but the main goal of today is for us to look at ourselves – see where we’re at and how we can be more polite, more kind and give more common courtesy to others.
As with most things in life, we don’t need to just say what is wrong with the world or society, we need to see (or identify) what the problem is – figure out a solution – then actually implement it! You know the saying … “Actions Speak Louder Than Words.” That’s what we’re doing here … and actually, that’s really the main goal and idea with the Life Lessons on a Sunday podcast as a whole: problem, solution, implementation!
And that is what I want for us today and everyday … because by acting or being more polite, more kind and having common courtesy to your neighbors and anyone you come in contact with will make the world we live in a much more enjoyable place to be.
When you think of Common Courtesy, what do you think of?
• Holding the door open for someone?
• Saying Please and Thank You
• Putting something back where you found it
• Use your car blinker!
It is all of these things and more! And I’m just over here wondering where they have gone and why have some of us stopped using them – when did we, as a society, become so self-absorbed and relaxed and entitled that we have stopped having common courtesy for one another?
We can all speculate that the rise of the smartphone and digital era where everything is at our fingertips and our heads are down and not up seeing what’s around us is a huge part in the downfall of common courtesy. We could speculate that the self-care movement that tells us to focus on ourselves and not others is to blame – or maybe we could even say that our busy lives that are filled with multiple jobs, multiple kids and all the activities that come along with an active lifestyle make it harder. But I don’t know – in one hand I feel like all of these are factors and in another hand I feel like it takes no extra effort or time to be kind and polite – so why aren’t we?
Here, let me give a few examples to help explain where I’m coming from …
• You are getting out of your car and walking toward the store. Your head is down and looking at your phone because you were not looking at it while driving … right? Anyways, you are on your phone and not paying any attention to your surroundings and focused on your task at hand and/or the phone. You open the door to go inside and don’t even notice that someone was coming out with bags or someone was right behind you walking in. You simply pull on the door, walk in, bump into someone and simply move left or right. How many times have you done this or seen this being done … we are probably all guilty of it at one time or another. If we were just simply looking up, we could be smiling at people (and that would brighten their day and yours). We could be holding the door open for two extra seconds to help your fellow neighbor. You get the picture.
• Another example … grocery carts! Someone (hopefully not you) goes grocery shopping, walks into the store and grabs a cart. You go and do all your shopping. You check out and put the bags in the cart to bring to your car. Once you arrive at your car, you unload said groceries, close your doors, then simply “push” or take two steps to the closest median and “park” your grocery cart. INSTEAD of taking an extra 10-20 steps to the actual cart return so that the cart doesn’t roll and hit someone else’s car! Also, it’s easier for the employees to collect the carts and bring them back to the store so they are available for you again the next time you go shopping. I mean, you don’t even have to take it all the way back in the store where you got it from – it’s right there in the parking lot! As you can see, this one really bothers me.
• Or what about the Common Courtesy and Respect of saying Please and Thank You. And Sir and Ma’am – it cost you nothing, takes less than a second to say and makes everyone feel appreciated.
Okay, enough about the problems, let’s talk about some solutions! What are some ways that we can have and show more common courtesy to others? Let me give 10 suggestions to get us started, then I would love for you to share others using the hashtag #commoncourtesylifelessons…..
#1 There Are Other People In This World Too
• Making yourself a priority and taking care of yourself from time to time is good, but when you start to go down the rabbit hole of I need this, I deserve this, I’ve done this all by myself, nobody can do this like I can, and those thought and action fill your mind and heart, then that’s just selfish. I’m not saying to never put yourself first or to become selfless, I’m saying … acknowledge that you, your time and your values are just as important as the next person.
#2 Use Your Manners (especially table manners)
• This includes everything from chewing with your mouth closed, using your napkin to saying Please and Thank You … If we need a refresher course on manners, I am more than happy to do one!
#3 No Interrupting
• Has someone just cut you off mid thought? How does that make you feel? I know that sometimes I can be long winded in telling a story, but please let me finish – I promise there is a point! And I know that sometimes I get really excited about something that pops up in my head, and I try really hard not interrupt, and this is definitely something that I have to work harder at because I know that it is respectful to let people finish what they are saying before I reply or change the subject … I Must Wait My Turn … and you must as well.
#4 Apologize If You Are Wrong
• I’m Sorry! Two short words! Less than double digits in letters. Yet, these little words seem to stop us in our tracks – break up friendships and so much more because we aren’t saying them to each other. I get it … it took me years to ever feel like I did anything wrong – I was, young, independent, making it on my own or so I thought – and how could I be wrong, I was doing all the right things. Well, sometimes even if we aren’t intentionally mean or wrong in our eyes, we are in someone else’s. I’m not saying you should apologize for being who you are in any way, shape, form or fashion. I’m saying we should apologize if we are wrong! Plain and simple. And you know when you are wrong or you something came out the wrong way when trying to explain something, but you don’t want to look weak or like you were wrong so you don’t apologize. I personally feel that the bigger person apologizes and recognizes when they have done something wrong, or at the very least listens when someone tells them that they hurt them. Say, I’m Sorry – I promise, you won’t regret it.
#5 Respect Your Elders
• Listen, I know the world is all about protecting our children and making sure that their future, which in turn is our future, is protected and taken care of. I get it – I really do. But why can’t we do that and still respect our elders. I really feel like the older generation has become the lost generation and no one listens to their wisdom, their trials and tribulations, their love stories or even “waits” on them. Yes, they move slower and not as active as those young wiper snappers, but they are just as important and we should be protecting and caring for them just as much!
#6 Respect Difference of Opinions
• Here’s a crazy thought … other people may not think just like you! They may not like the music you like, the movies you like, dare I say, they have a different political stance or even like the snow over the beach – oh the horror of it all! I think we need to embrace those that are different than us .. I mean, if we were all the same and had the same thoughts, how boring would our life really be. If we all shopped at the same store, had only 5 books to read and only 10 outfits to wear, we would all be the same and our thoughts would be the same. So why aren’t we embracing difference of opinions. You know, I have recently tried to have conversations with people that I know think differently than me on a few subjects and they refuse to talk with me because they think they know my opinion and reaction and think it will be a “debate”. Interesting right? I try to explain that I won’t get upset or raise my voice, but it doesn’t matter – their mind is made up. So what am I to do? Well, I’ll tell you what. I let it be … I’m not upset with them or don’t talk to them anymore – I just hope that through my actions, they can see that we are different, but can still be friends/family. I’ll respect them, because that’s what I want them to do to me.
#7 Pick Up After Yourself
• Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that when you were growing up, a parent, a grandparent, a teacher or SOMEBODY asked you pick up after yourself … put your shoes away, put the trash in the garbage, hang your coat up, make your bed, put the dishes away, push your chair in, and the list could go on. So why is it that today there is so much garbage on the sides of roads, people leave a table full of garbage and chairs out in restaurants, when someone tries on clothes at a store, they just leave them on the floor or throw in a pile for someone else to pick up? I could go on and on, but I truly believe that you should leave a place better than you found it, so please, I beg of you – let’s pick up after ourselves and maybe others will follow suit!
#8 Never Embarrass Someone Else
• It is not polite to point out someone’s shortcomings or their lack of knowledge on a subject. In fact, it is a form of bullying and who wants to be a bully? Instead, maybe have a private conversation with them or see if you can be of assistance to them instead of embarrassing them. We all need to show each other more grace and patience.
#9 Don’t Block Traffic
• This can go for the road, the sidewalk and any common areas. If you want to drive slow … get in the slow lane (it is literally called the slow lane in the drivers manual for a reason). If you want to have a conversation when you get out of the theater, or plane or anywhere, please don’t just stop where you are and expect people to go around you … please move to the side so it doesn’t stop the flow of movement and other people getting to where they need to be. Remember, you and I are not more important than anyone else in that lane or hallway.
And for my 10th and final common courtesy suggestion, make sure you listen all the way to the very end of the show … it’s in the jingle!
Make sure to use #commoncourtesylifelessons so we can connect and share more politeness and respect to the world!
Until Next Sunday …