Not long ago, I was wrapping up my workout about the same time as the woman on the elliptical machine next to me. Deep in “the zone,” I didn’t immediately notice that she was struggling. She was having a somewhat difficult time getting off of the machine. Careful not to embarrass her, I asked, “Can I give you a hand?” After helping her down she said, “I thought chivalry was dead.”
Offering assistance wasn’t a big deal for me, as my parents were always proponents of good manners. Our quick conversation made me think about her question. Do people take the time to exchange courtesy? I would imagine modern-day chivalry would be more prevalent in the South, as it is often intertwined in the culture. I’ll depend on my “Northern” readers to weigh-in by leaving comments. While I’m not talking about knights in shining armor, scaling an edifice to rescue a damsel in distress. I am talking about answering a telephone with a pleasant demeanor. I’m talking about walking a lady to their car at night. I’m referring to helping senior citizens carry groceries. No, that doesn’t mean we should aim for saint status, but it isn’t much to ask.
I’ve always opened doors for others, used “yes sir and no ma’am,” and minded my “please and thank-you’s.” My fraternity experience taught me to respect women and always show them courtesy. It seems that life is so much more pleasant when others take the time to extend some form of generosity in the form of manners.
Are we too busy in our 24/7 lifestyles to spare one moment to exchange pleasantries? How many people do you pass, who simply look the other way, or shove their bad day off on you? How many places, often more noticeable in the service industry, do people forget their service with a smile. You invite me into your homes each night to spend time with you before dinner, or before bed. I’m try to be a good guest, and extend these same manners when I’m on-air. I wish more people would try it. What are things like in your workplace?
I meet and rely on countless people to fulfill my daily job expectations. Whether it’s a call to a local government agency, or a walk down the hall to speak with a co-worker, close interaction is inevitable. No matter how crummy my day may become, I always try to be as pleasant as possible. I’ve always been amazed at how our moods can be molded by those we encounter. Of course there will always those people who are the proverbial “stick in the mud.”
A simple “How are you?” or “Have a good one!” can really surprise people and change their day. Try it. Show a little more courtesy and pleasantry. I guarantee it will be returned, two-fold. Challenge yourself to hold a door, to pull out a chair, or offer a complement. We’re all allowed a bad day here and there, but being courteous can really improve your outlook on life. Be sure to share your thoughts below!
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KTRE/KLTV-TV or Raycom Media. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2009 Lane Luckie