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Being Polite

Confessions of a Realistic Pollyanna

A friend of mine wrote a post on her Facebook status this week. She was upset that two young women on the busy train that she was riding had managed to take up 6 seats. Their suitcases took up two seats. They sat on two seats. And their feet were propped up against another two seats. They seemed oblivious to the fact that my friend and several others in that train car had to stand even though they managed to take four extra seats. My friend and I imagine others in the train car were rightly miffed.

Some people are not considerate. They don't take into account the feelings or the situations of others. They seem to be only concerned about their own welfare. They seem to think that they are the only important ones around.

Yet consideration is one of the simplest things to think about. In my dealings with others, I think I am a fairly considerate person. Oh there are times when that is not the case. The telemarketer who will not take no for an answer is likely to see a rather impolite side of me. But generally I think I am aware of others needs and of their feelings. I do this by asking myself the following three questions. Am I practising the Golden Rule- the treating of others just as I want to be treated? If the answer is no, then I need to amend my behaviour. The second question I always ask myself is my behaviour in anyway hurtful or could be construed to be hurtful. If the answer to this is yes, then again I need to amend my behaviour. Third, I need to ask if my behaviour will improve the mood of the people around me. If the answer is no, again I must change.

It is easy to send off an angry email. It is easy to say harsh words that might make us feel good for a minute or so. It might have been understandable for my friend to yell at the two women who took up all those seats in a crowded train. But such victories are small at best. But when everyone treats the other with respect, when everyone honours the feelings of others, when everyone is considerate, the world would be a much nicer place. Blessings.

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