If only these simple things were a way-of-life

by Rod Smith

Things I really wish were a way of life in our various communities:

  • Mutual respect expressed in the common courtesies of “please” and “thank you” and in  greetings as simple as a friendly “hello” and “good morning.”

  • Handwritten thank you notes and cards for kindnesses received.

  • Offering seats on busses and trains to anyone and everyone even a day older than you are.

  • A helping hand with opening and closing doors or carrying packages.

  • Friendly chit-chat with strangers in queues or waiting rooms or in airline departure areas.

  • Respect for teachers and respect for elders and a general sense of humility rather than entitlement.

  • Listening without interrupting.

  • People who clean up after themselves.

  • Children who do not interrupt adults when adults are speaking.

A readers’s response:

“Your column this morning brought memories of my late father flooding back. His way of life was exactly the way you describe you wish it would be today. He was kind, caring, polite, and greeted everyone, no matter who they were. He stood up in buses and trains for anyone requiring a seat. My sister and I were brought up to behave in exactly the same way and it certainly has not done either of us any harm. Unfortunately, I only had him in my life for my first fourteen years but he lives in my heart always.

“A few years ago I was given a gift by one of my niece’s school friends. I was amazed at how fascinated she was having received a hand written ‘thank you’ note from me, delivered by post, to her home address. Apparently, my note was the only one she had ever received in all her twenty-one years. This saddened me. There is something so personal and special about writing or receiving a letter written on beautiful notepaper.

“I agree with you Rod, how wonderful life would be if we all adopted this way of life.”

Thank you for your beautiful letter.

I am often amused when my sons’ good manners are regarded with suspicion!

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