This is #11 of 40 Things I’ve Learned In 40 Years. To see a list of these short daily writings, click here.
Today in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday for expressing gratitude. All too often (and admittedly I feel old when I say this) simple expressions of thanks and other courtesies are absent from our interactions. . .
Say please and thank you.
Extend a firm (but not bone crushing) handshake with a smile and good eye contact when meeting someone.
Put a napkin on your lap.
Tip your waiters, bartenders, taxi drivers, and other service professionals.
Send handwritten thank you notes.
And gentlemen, open the car door for the ladies. This is not a condescending assault on feminist sensibilities – it’s simply good etiquette.
These subtle gestures, too often neglected as unimportant, are demonstrations of respect. And as I used to teach my karate kids, respect is an acknowledgment that something is important and has value. When thought of in this light, every act of courtesy is in some way an expression of gratitude. Manners matter.
Do you think manners still matter? What about “outdated” courtesies such as sending handwritten notes or men opening doors for women? Do you think there has been a decline in gestures of courtesy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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