June 09, 2005

Heroic Courtesy

"Its all very well and good to adopt a stance of fierce dismay and register sympathy for thousands of strangers you can't do anything to help. But all that does is depress you, or make you feel superior. Or justify passivity. Here's what I think. What is needed in a cruel and terrifying reality isn't heroic virtue - how often do we get that chance? What's needed is heroic courtesy. A personal response to the world we bitch in and cut people off in, and curse and snub and cheat and gossip in. It's our responsibility. It's up to us. And I believe with all my heart that the bottom line ought to be somethng smaller than kindness even. Courtesy. Courtesy lubricates and sustains our society, leavens the world from the inside out."

-Patrick O'Leary, The Impossible Bird

Posted by Chris at June 9, 2005 06:10 PM

That rings so true. I negotiate for a living. I cannot tell you how many times a negotiation has gone my way because I was courteous about being firm. I have never seen the point to getting bent out of shape - in any situatiion. What does it solve? Where does it get you? That isn't to say that I am always calm in the face of adversity - far from it. But, I do know better. Imagine a world where everyone was considerate and contemplated the effect of their actions/words . . .

Posted by: Gwen at June 9, 2005 06:21 PM

Gotta agree with you there. Basic courtesy is something I brought to my new job with me - and amazingly enough, it's contagious.

Posted by: Iki at June 9, 2005 06:25 PM

Hear, hear!

Posted by: Ms. Q at June 9, 2005 06:28 PM

Courtesy - not enough of that going on in this world. Even when we give it to strangers and work mates, do we give enough of it to those we actually love?


Posted by: cassie-b at June 9, 2005 06:49 PM

Truer words were never spoken!! I try to be courteous, and for the most part I succeed. I mean, that is part of my business. I even try to be courteous when driving, although there are times I fall short there as everyone else seems to live by the motto "do unto them before they do unto you". Oh well.

Posted by: Nina at June 9, 2005 09:53 PM

Hum...were you following me around this week? Were you watching me? Wow...That is what I was talking about! Scary!

Posted by: Gypsy at June 10, 2005 02:30 AM

being courteous is a lost concept here in Boston. I moved here 3 years ago and I still am shocked by the way people treat each other here. I'm a southern girl that grew up with nothing but the one thing I was proud of was the way I was taught to treat others. YES!!!! YOU HAVE TO BE TAUGHT!!!!!!

Hugs, Zissy

Posted by: Zissy at June 10, 2005 06:55 AM

Ya know, the author could have taken that line from one of my daily rants. There is no consideration left in this world. What ever happened to courtesy? I've been convinced that's one of our biggest problems for years now. And the more I see a lack of courtesy, the older and crochetier (is that even a word?) I become. At 33 I'm already a crabby old lady.

Posted by: hr mommy at June 10, 2005 06:56 AM

I totally agree! Well said!

Posted by: That Girl at June 10, 2005 10:32 AM