How many of us have the patience and courtesy to stop for a second and tell the time when asked for .We keep moving along and mumble the time without caring whether the other got it. Do we wait when asked for directions and give clearly or just keep walking telling nothing or I don’t know. Do we bend and help in gathering the papers dropped unless the person who dropped is a young lady? There are many such instances where courtesy can be extended and where people can be helpful. We do not even use ‘please’, ‘thanks’ or ‘excuse me’ as much as is necessary to people placed lower than us.
Courtesy is the essence of life. We spend nothing except a kind word or a few moments but gain everything. People do not announce who they are when making phone calls or express regret when they have made a wrong call. Some turn rude if you have made a wrong call. Lack of courtesy reflects poor upbringing. Are we polite in replying letters /mails when we get enquiries about something we are not dealing or conversant with? Do we go the extra mile giving useful information? Do we go out of our way to show customers they did us a favor by coming to us? There are scores of such instances where courtesy can be shown. It casts reciprocal obligations on us. We have to show respect and gratitude to those who are civil and polite to us. Then only it becomes contagious spreading cheer all around.
This trait is best seen in those who have had good upbringing. It is important that we raise our children in this manner by personal example and practice even in the household. The parent’s influence is the strongest in this regard. Courtesy is amplified by this story I read somewhere. When Einstein was holding a party to some well-known people, he saw a young boy sitting alone bored and neglected by others. He went near the boy and asked him whether he liked music. When the boy evinced interest, Einstein took him to the first floor and entertained him with music on the piano. He forgot his guests and spent his time in regaling the boy. This is the height of courtesy where even the feelings of a youngster are observed. What would have been the impact on the boy for this generous gesture? Courtesy costs us no money but gives joy both to the giver and receiver. More so in crowded places, in rush hour, in competitive situations a smile and thank you will make the world a happier place to live in.

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