The age of technology seems to have signaled an era where good manners have become extinct. Cell phone calls interrupt romantic dinners, cat naps on public transport, silence in a library. Text messaging is a never-ending, voiceless conversation. E-books and lap tops are all the companions some folks need. The latest gadgets and gizmos make it unnecessary for us to interact with one another.
Perhaps Mother Nature is encouraging us to get back to basics. Because in the final analysis, when all material things are washed away in a tsunami, or demolished in an earthquake, or engulfed in wildfires, people have to turn to each other for answers. We may do well to take a refresher course on good manners, on doing unto others as we would have them do unto us…before we find ourselves in need of their help.
The Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr., offers some good advice on being neighborly. Our memories just need a little jogging, and dusting off, to get us back on track toward being more human in an environment that’s becoming less and less so.
- Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the caller’s.
- Don’t burn bridges.You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
- Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per
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day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
- Rekindle old friendships.
- Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death-bed, “Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office.”
- Don’t be afraid to say: “I don’t know,” “I made a mistake,” I need help,” “I’m sorry.”
- Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
- Don’t rain on other people’s parades.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Never underestimate the power of words to heal and reconcile relationships.
- Be as friendly to the janitor as you are to the chairman of the board.
- Treat your employees with the same respect you give your clients.
- Remove your sunglasses when you talk to someone.
- Show extra respect for people whose jobs put dirt under their fingernails.
- Surprise an old friend with a phone call.
- Don’t be so concerned with your rights that you forget your manners.
- Act with courtesy and fairness regardless of how others treat you. Don’t let them determine your response.
- Spend your life lifting people up, not putting people down.
- Remember that everyone you meet wears an invisible sign. It reads, “Notice me. Make me feel important.”
- Encourage anyone who is trying to improve mentally, physically, or spiritually.
- Be especially courteous and patient with older people.
- Let your handshake be as binding as a signed contract.
- Love someone who doesn’t deserve it.
- Regardless of the situation, react with class.
- Become the kind of person who brightens a room just by entering it.
- Remember that a kind word goes a long way.
- Spend twice as much time praising as you do criticizing.
- Offer hope.
- When you need to apologize to someone, do it in person.
- When a friend is in need, help him without his having to ask
- Never be too busy to meet someone new.
- If it’s not a beautiful morning, let your cheerfulness make it one.
- Remember that cruel words hurt deeply, and loving words quickly heal.
- Before criticizing a new employee, remember your first days at work.
- Never call anybody stupid, even if you’re kidding.
- Offer your place in line at the grocery checkout if the person behind you has only two or three items.
- This year, buy an extra box of Girl Scout cookies.
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- After someone apologizes to you, don’t lecture them.
- Carry a couple of inexpensive umbrellas in your car that you can give to people caught in the rain.
- When you really like someone, tell them. Sometimes you only get one chance.
- Take more pictures of people than of places.
- Never make fun of people who speak broken English. It means they know another language.
- If you ask someone to do something for you, let them do it their way.
- Remember it’s not your job to get people to like you, it’s your job to like people.
- Write a thank-you note to your children’s teacher when you see your child learning new things.
- Never intentionally embarrass anyone.
- Don’t forget that your attitude is just as important as the facts.
- Remember that much truth is spoken in jest.
- Never resist a generous impulse.
- When in doubt, smile.
This list should keep us all busy for some time. In fact, just pondering them will probably occupy more than a few minutes. But we can take our time, for we’ve lots of time. Or have we?
practicing just one a day…will get us somewhere better than where we already are…hugmamma.