Therapeutic power of courteousness

Something unusual happened to me at the supermarket the other day. The place was packed and people were anxious to grab what they wanted and get away. As I waited my turn at a plastic bag dispenser, the elderly woman ahead of me tore off a bag and, instead of keeping it to herself, offered it to me with a smile.The gesture was spontaneous and completely unexpected. I know it sounds piffling, but this minor moment put a shine on the day. As I went about my shopping I found myself being more thoughtful of others than is my usual state of mind in the free-for-all known as the supermarket. it was a simple demonstration of the therapeutic power of courtesy. I bet she felt just as pleased as I did. 

(Source of quote: The Penguin Book of Etiquette by Marion Von Adlerstein)

The other day in Aldi I let a young girl go before me as she only had a couple of items (I think she was shopping for her mum) and I had a bag full. She looked surprised and happy, perhaps because not too many adults have show her courteousness these days. We have become to use to indifferences, dis-courtesy and aggression that a simple act of kindness can make all the differences to one's day.

Do we mean to be rude, or in our hurried our lived we have just forgotten about others?

Indifferences has become the norm.

But I would go further and say that bad language is now the norm, lack of manners is the norm, not seeing that others are in need are the norm. And when we see people caring it really makes us sit up and notice.

If we, as adults, don't show the young courteousness when we are out and about, how are they going to learn how to treat people. We need to "walk the talk" and set an example to our youth. This isn't always easy as many young people are rude and indifferent, but every now and again we may meet a young woman like I did and make her day.

I work with a young man who is incredibly polite nice young man and such a pleasure to be around.  He always has a kind word to say, he is willing to do anything and he is always helpful. He is also funny and great company (and a great cook) I look at him and wish we had many more young people just like him.



  1. I do try to do these things for other people when I can, and it does take people by surprise! Yesterday when I was shopping, an older lady was putting her trolley away in the trolley bay right before me, and she looked over at me and said "here, I'll put that away for you!" What a surprise! It is so rare to see these simple acts of kindness that really don't cost much but can make a big difference. Thank you for the reminder to carry on with doing those simple kind things, Jo. :)

    1. One gets such a warm feeling when someone does something nice and kind and I am sure that once someone is kind to you, you are more likely to be kind to someone else and it grows little by little.

  2. It would be easy to grumble and say "I am always the one who does the nice things, others never do them to me" - but we can always live in hope =)

    1. It does happen from time to time and its a nice feeling to be on the receiving end. But I do get annoyed by all the rude people out there!!

  3. I agree... the rudeness is the norm... "whatever..." etc. BUT it doesn't have to be for us. :) We can show the world the love of Christ even by using just plain old "common" courtesy. It is a bit sad that when we do such easy little things, people are surprised... it shouldn't be that unusual. Thank you for the post. :)

    1. We need to be the light that shines :)))

  4. It's amazing the joy and peace that simple courtesy can bring!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I wear skirts and dresses

Art Friday: Washing Day

The power of our homes

Modern modesty

Art Friday: Views from a window

True restfulness