From the time my dear son started talking I taught him how and when to say Please and Thank you. Had this big idea to create a polite environment for him to grow up to. But to my shame the other day, while I was busy in my own world and asked my son to get me a glass of water. Nor did I say please neither did I thank him for helping !.
Well thankfully a 5 year old doesn't keep grudges, he rather prefers to demand what he thinks is right. So he immediately said me "Amma, say thank you"
His tone and words did shock me, I was about to warn him to watch his tone, then I remembered, wasn't I the one who taught him to be polite, so doesn't he deserve the same courtesy and politeness from me. I immediately smiled and said thank you and for a good measure praised him for being helpful.
But this got me thinking, in this fast growing, fast moving, instant world are we forgetting common courtesies in our life ??.
Now a days we are so lazy to even interact and talk in full sentences let alone showing patience to observe common courtesy.
Our parents have painstakingly ingrained some etiquette and courtesies in us while growing up. Which we gave up so easily in our busy lives. These small things sometimes matters more than big gestures..
So let me list out few courtesies of this generation.
1. The most basic one and which will not change for any generation, say Please and Thank you. And smile while saying it. It doesn't even take a second but the impact stays forever.
2. When you are talking to someone face to face, don't keep checking your phone or texting someone else. While you are being efficient to someone else, you are ignoring the person who is sitting in front of you
3. Don't fight in public. No matter how hurt you are or how angry, that doesn't mean you should wash your dirty laundry in public. Talk to that person in private and resolve your issues. According to today's world I should say, Don't fight on social media, Facebook and Twitter is not the place to fight or even share personal differences.
4. Be on Time. Punctuality not only saves your time, it shows that you value other's time too. I should say that there is no shortcuts to this courtesy, you have to just be on time. But in today's world I have to tell you to at least be polite enough to inform the person waiting that you are running late. But don't be late more than 20 mins from the appointed time. Being early is always preferred.
5. Turn your phone ringer off in movie theaters, dinner or while in reunion with friends. It is not only very annoying to hear a phone ring in movies, its also extremely rude to interrupt somebody's viewing for your convenience. But worst part is not only people keep their ring tones on, they actually answer it and talk (quite loudly).
6. Dont play your music on speaker while in public places. Not everybody wants to hear whats in your playlist or even radio. There are hundreds of different types of headphones available. Please use it.
7. When you stay at your friend's or relatives place, keep their place clean. Making the bed and folding blankets after sleeping, not disrupting their toiletries in bathrooms, not eating up all the snacks etc., is the least you can do in return for their hospitality.
8. Please don't cut the queue. I understand you are in hurry, but that shouldn't be an excuse to cut queue. If you in so much hurry you can ask permission to move forward but be polite and accept if they disagree.
9. After standing in a long queue when its your turn, please be ready. Whether its ATM line or a line to file application or even to buy food, people forget they are in line and don't keep their cards, papers or money ready until they are at the counter. As you have waited, people behind you are also waiting, don't waste yours and their time.
10. Pay back borrowed money, no matter how small the amount it. Don't assume they don't need it and never make them ask for it.
11. Don't forget to return what you borrowed from anybody. May it be a book or that movie.
12. When you are using other's phone or computer. Don't browse through their personal stuff, use it for what you asked and return it. Don't start flipping through their call lists, photos or folders.
13. If you ask your friends or relatives to help you with some housework, feed them as a thank you. Don't send them away without atleast feeding them in appreciation.
14. If you are invited to lunch or dinner to somebody's home, after eating offer help to clean up.
15. If you borrow somebody's car or bike, please make sure to fill up the petrol before returning.
16. Please please don't break up with a friend or a loved one in text. Some issues deserve a face to face or atleast a call.
17. Taking selfie is super fun. But limit taking selfies while in a get together or office party or even a quite party with friends. Rather be in the moment and enjoy the company.
18. Don't encourage gossip about a friend. Be loyal and say you can't hear gossip about them because they are your good friends. If you do hear, don't pass on to someone else.
19. Don't make your food habits someone's else headache. While having meal at some one's place, don't blatantly reject the food, at least taste it for their satisfaction (unless you are allergic to that food).
20. Appreciate your host's food and home. It means a lot to most.
And finally all the old classics apply here
- Chew with your mouth closed
- Cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing (with left hand)
- Wash hands after using restroom
- If you bump into someone, say excuse me or sorry
- Say thank you to anybody who is helping or serving you. From your grocer to that random autowala
- Smile or wave in thank you to that person who leaves you way while in traffic.
My parents taught me, don't treat someone in a way you don't like to be treated. The world out there is already cold and cruel, lets find little politeness in our hearts to spread. Your children will learn from you, if you want your child to be polite be their example.
P.S: The things I have listed is very basic, there are so many small courtesies to follow. It may look tedious but it will not only make you a better person but will also make the world around you a better place.