Letters to the young (2 of 5)

by Rod Smith
You’d be amazed at the power of politeness. By this I mean expressing genuine care and awareness of others.

Saying “please” and “thank you” and “may I help you” and “is there anything you’d like to tell me” is like dropping a drawbridge for goodness to pour in and out of your own life.

While it’s unwise to be polite simply for the return (that’s an advanced form of manipulation) genuine care and politeness will re-ignite something good in you that is tough to stop.

Asking people of all ages about their days, really taking an interest in others and in developing your manners will not only distinguish you from others who are your age, but it will give you a taste of the beauty of life that is quite astounding.

Listening, asking polite questions, following up with appropriate questions, learning the art of NOT making every conversation about you and your interests will open your heart to a world the self-centered cannot see.

Try it. Use your parents for target practice. Even if you fake it you might awaken some dormant goodness and kindness that’s been hiding beneath your possibly surly surface since you hit your teen years, and you might be more than overwhelmed at the results.

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