Civility, courtesy, Etiquette, good, Grace, Respect

After You Ma’am.

 

Volunteering at a recent event, I was amongst 4 retired gentleman.  Each of them was probably around the age of 60.  The event lasted a few days so I had the pleasure of these gentleman’s company for the duration of that time.  We checked in at Volunteer Headquarters every morning and then caught a shuttle bus to our designated work areas.  I couldn’t help but notice the overabundant politeness that seemed to take place.  Each of them insisted I enter the shuttle first, they stood if I stood, they would open and hold the door for me and wait until I went through first.  On one occasion, I got on the shuttle after everyone else and the bus was full.  At least two of the them quickly stood up and offered their seats.  I indicated that I was okay but they were insistent that I take one of their seats.  I didn’t want to create a scene or not respect their expressions of courtesy so I took the seat.

I wouldn’t say this behaviour was foreign to me but it certainly wasn’t something I was used to on a regular basis.   I know  from my university days, when feminism was at its peak, men offering  to do anything for women created somewhat of a controversy.  Perhaps that is part of the reason it isn’t as prevalent so much any more.  For me though, I liked it.   Men or not, being met with courtesy, grace and respect – it was a good thing.

Civility, Community, courtesy, good, Respect

Civility Includes Respect for the Environment

What do you think of when you think of civility?  Is it putting up with the in-laws when they drop in unannounced?  Maybe tolerating the sniffling of the co-worker in the cubicle beside you.  Or do you think of keeping your dog fenced in yard so he doesn’t do his business on someone else’s lawn.  Do you ever consider your respect for the environment as an act of civility?  Let’s not forget that we are only borrowing this space on earth while we are here.  Respecting the elements is important for everyone now and those to come.

Here are 5 Ways you can help the environment from fellow blogger, Kelly Allen.  Even if you already do these,  it’s always a good reminder to know that even the small things can add up to a big difference in the end.  Please read:

http://kellybrownpaper.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/5-ways-you-can-help-the-environment-today/

Civility, Community, good, Peace, Respect

9/11 – A Metaphor of What We are Capable of

I watched the memorial presentation for the tragedy of 9/11.  I can’t believe that 10 years have passed.  No other day, no other moment, no other memory is as burned in my mind as September 11, 2001.  Everyone has their own account of where they were and what they were doing when the planes began to crash.  Many larger-than-life images instantaneously come to our minds without thinking.  But, when I sift through the rubble in my mind of that day, I remember the fantastic acts of human spirit that manifested from those events.  People began to reach out to help; help others they didn’t even know.  Smiles and greetings that were never extended previously, became abundant. Conversations started among strangers. Estranged families found common ground.  Couples contemplating divorce, re-evaluated their relationships.  People came together that would otherwise not even acknowledge each other. Community came out of the chaos.

I heard a  reading today that stood out as so poignant in marking this anniversary.  It goes like this:

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour.  Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve Human Kind.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of it all.  If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceable with all.  (Romans 12: 9-18).

As I watched the memorial of this tragedy 10 years later, I remembered what the human spirit is capable of.   Even when we are hit with the most unbelievable horror, we can rise above.  We are capable of great acts of goodness when faced with unspeakable evil.  I look to these events as a metaphor of what we can expect from ourselves … and it is good.

Civility, Etiquette, Respect

Don’t Put Manners on Strike at the Picket Line

No one wants a strike.  Striking is a last resort when an agreement cannot be made by an organization and its workers.  Employees do not want to relinquish their pay cheques to walk a picket line and employers don’t want to loose the labour.  Any public involved do not want the inconvenience of lost production, services or having to cross that picket line.  As unpleasant as they are, sometimes they are a necessary evil in order to move forward.  When presented with a strike situation, there a few things to keep in mind:

1. They are people on those picket lines.  They have feelings, families and lives.

2.  Expect delays if you are crossing the line.  Often, workers will stop line-crossers to hand out brochures or explain their side of the situation.  Be patient and keep conversation pleasant.

3.  Drive slowly when crossing a line with a vehicle.  Hitting the gas pedal, squealing tires or driving erratically is only putting people’s lives in danger and isn’t going to improve the situation.  Not-to-mention, it is unlawful and could end up being a bigger problem than just trying to make a statement crossing the line.

4.  Waving the middle finger at picketers or yelling obscenities only serves to discredit you.

5.  Under normal circumstances, honking of horns can be obnoxious and annoying but there is no sweeter sound to a picketer than the sound of a honk of support.  A quick “beep beep” on the horn and a wave means so much to a person who is walking the line.

6.  Safety should be the number one priority for all involved.  Tolerance, restraint and respect are critical.  Everyone has the right to an opinion but no has the right to take away the safety and security of another.

7.  Be polite and courteous at all times.  The person who can civilly disagree is heard more clearer than the one screaming and mud-slinging.