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Mind Your P’s & Q’s

April 23, 2007

Courtesy and the Gospel
by Carrie Ann

Courtesy is often tossed onto the smoldering heap of Pollyanna virtues. It makes me think of  men in stiff Victorian collars and spats tipping their straw hats to corseted ladies with parasols. But then again, my heart swells with gratitude when another driver lets me into the long queue of traffic. That’s courtesy too!

But really, courtesy goes a long way. Ask anyone who works is the service industry. As a former retail executive with Macy’s department stores, I had plenty of opportunity to see the full spectrum of courtesy and non-courtesy. As a customer, you get a lot more out of being nice than you do out of being nasty and demanding. We would bend over backwards for a customer with a problem who was polite and calm. With nasty customers, it is very easy to just resort to policy. And as a manager, I could soothe any wild beast with genuine courtesy and kindness as opposed to snootiness, which was not always easy with someone screaming in your face.

So courtesy for gain… hmmm, it works for me. Most spiritual rewards have to wait for Heaven, but I see courtesy as something that can be rewarded in the here and now.

It’s like Karma. I believe in some form of Karma. I think my God must have another name for it, but it might sound a lot like courtesy.

I am an unapologetically positive person. Pollyanna to the core, but by choice, not by nature. I choose to create rather than destroy, and courtesy is in my toolbox. I am not always successful. Sometimes it feels SO GOOD to be nasty, to be a snob, to look better, richer, more MORE than you! Oh, but the bad vibes I am sending out into the universe when I do this!

I want my behavior to be infectious in a positive way. One courteous act from me might promote a courteous act from another, and another, and another, ad infinitum. Good vibes for the universe!

The idea of courtesy is very New Testament; very love-thy-neighbor. Courtesy allows me the opportunity to live above reproach. If I act with courtesy, most of the time I will have behaved in a Christ-like manner, but it’s a way I can be Christ-like without having to be super-human. That’s it! Courtesy is Christ-like, but human, attainable.

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3 comments

  1. I just heard about a study done where they found the levels of saratonen in the brain were directly linked to doing nice things for others or being the recipient of kind deeds or service, and even watching someone else do kind things for others. I need to look it up bc it was interesting, but it basically said that being the recipient releases more saratonen than watching, and doing the actual kind deed for someone else releases even more than watching or receiving. So you could say, it addicting to be kind or do nice things for others! Studies aside, I know that to be true.


  2. being mean always comes back to bite people because even though being nasty nad loud may win people some feeling of self respect, the respect that others hold for you will diminish.

    People can get their point across by being polite. Not only is it nice but it’s practical!


  3. I know a girl named Sarah Tonnen!



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