This I Believe

Cody - Chelan, Washington
Entered on February 7, 2007

I believe in manners and politeness. It seems as if those qualities of life have been lost or pushed aside in our modern times. Everyone appreciates an act of respect or courtesy. It can be as easy as a please and thank you after spending time at a friends house. Many parents I know can be caught off guard by a simple thank you coming from a teenager. I try as much as possible to never let a please or thank you pass me by during the day. I am not sure if it is that people see manners as unnecessary or pointless today, but I know that my parents will never give me something I want without showing a hint of common courtesy. Many of my friends have no sense of manners, they will just walk out of someone’s house without a simple goodbye to their parents, or holding the door for someone seems like a struggle, and they also cannot comprehend why these acts are necessary. I know from experience that manners and politeness can get you far. About four months ago, I was speeding excessively and passed by a police officer. The officer proceeded to pull me over, which I greatly deserved. Once he got to my window, he told me what I had done as if I didn’t know, and told me my possible charges. If the officer wanted to, he could have prosecuted me with a reckless driving ticket, which means I would have spent the night in jail, have my license suspended for six to twelve months, and I would be fined over $1,000. After I gave the officer my license and registration, he talked to me for a few minutes, and he told me he was going to let me off with nothing more than a warning. His reasoning behind this was that I was extremely respectful to him by looking him in the eyes when he talked to me, saying please and thank you, and overall being polite. The officer could tell that I was greatly sorry for what I did and that I would learn from my mistake. This story proves that a little common courtesy can go a long ways. Therefore, I strongly believe that being polite is one of the most important qualities a person can have, and they can help you in shaky situations just like mine; so next time you see someone coming into the building you just left, don’t hesitate to hold the door for them and say a simple hello.