Extending Courtesy

Did someone just cut you off in traffic? Did someone just pause to let you in line (maybe traffic or at the grocery or something? When’s the last time that you held open a door for someone–especially someone struggling with bundles or small children?

I hit one of those opportunities this morning on my way to the airport. A truck was entering I-75 from one ramp as I was about to exit to the next street. I could have increased speed (by a lot) to cut in front of him. But I slowed down to let him enter and I exited behind him.

The thought came that the cost to me was only about 10 seconds. I was going to have about an hour before my flight boarded, no reason to rush.

Once, almost all truckers were courteous. These days, don’t expect it.

I see other examples of rudeness in my travels. There are many examples of courtesy, too. I was traveling a week ago last Friday when the contractor started a fire that evacuated the FAA tower in the Chicago area. People by and large were not irate. Many were courteous to their fellow sufferers.

A pause and a smile can make someone’s day. Look for the first opportunity to be courteous today. That sets the tone for the rest of your day. And you might even fool your neighbors into thinking you’re a nice person!

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