Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A little courtesy, please...

Below is my latest blog on the Holmes Bargain Hunter . It's something poured from the core of my heart -- so basically I've left my heart for all to view. I guess that's nothing new from me!


“No one is too big to be courteous, but some are too little."

I’ve come to believe that life is full of surprises. Like Forrest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Wise words, Forrest.

Simple things in life make me happy. Hearing my children laugh with one another, standing in warm tropical waters with my husband, or a good meal seasoned with humor and love. It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy.

I also know what it takes to make my family happy. Hot meals, soft fluffy towels straight out of the dryer, knowing when to dole out a hug and knowing when not to. Our lives are lived with a healthy dousing of silliness, and an even bigger amount of respect and courtesy.

Cour-te-sy:  a courteous, respectful, or considerate act or expression.

In our family, living without courtesy would be like living in a zoo. No one would care what anyone else thought. A small courtesy is picking up a pair of dirty socks, or pouring a cup of coffee just the way your other half likes it. Because they are my kids, I shuttle them here and there. Soccer practice, to a friend’s house, out to Walmart at 10 p.m. because they forgot something they just have to have for school tomorrow.

These are all courtesies I perform everyday.

Am I to expect the same courtesy once I leave my own home? Once I step off my front porch am I fair game to the world? We are to treat our own neighbors as ourselves, and I think that applies to the world. Without civility, we lose ourselves.

I struggle with whether the expectations we put on our families are to be put to the people that live around us and in the world.

We expect civility. We expect common courtesy. We expect that others will treat us the way we have always treated them. Is this too much to ask? If the courtesy isn’t returned, do we lose our cool in disbelief? Unfortunately, sometimes we do.

Life is full of surprises. People we think are one way turn out to be another way. A way we treat someone for years is the way we expect to be treated. Sometimes we get burned in this process. The mistake may lie in believing everyone else has the same inherent beliefs we do. It’s a big mistake.

Because someone attends the same church we do, or goes to the same sporting events we do, or simply is someone we’ve had a kind hello with in passing – this doesn’t mean they believe in the same courtesies we do.

My husband tells me I’m naive sometimes. I like to believe that in everyone lies goodness. I’m the “everyone-really-is-a-good-person” kind of person. Sometimes we find out the hard way that they aren’t. Does this mean I should lower my expectations of people? I don’t believe so, but I’m losing heart fast.

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

I cling to this verse, but believe others have lost sight of it. My glass-half-full mentality is almost on empty. Betting on others goodness and courtesy is something I want to dobut until my bruised heart heals, is something that won’t come easy.