This I Believe

Caitlin - Richmond, Kentucky
Entered on May 3, 2007

I believe in holding the door open, saying “please” and “thank you” and always waving hello. I believe in southern hospitality and all the connotations that go along with it.

I’ve grown up my entire life in southern Kentucky. I come from a small town and a person being rude is not something that a visitor would often encounter. I was always raised to hold the door for the person behind me and to never let someone tell me “Hello” without a reply back.

I’ve visited different places (especially up north) and you just don’t get that hospitality that I was always raised with. Most people are busy and on their way to do the things they need to. It seems like they don’t even have a spare second in the day to show some kindness to someone else.

Not only is it just a personal pet peeve of mine, but I believe that the way you treat others is the measure of a person themselves. The philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” To me, it’s not just the act of holding the door or saying “please;” it is the measure of a person’s heart.

I always have to wonder why someone just wouldn’t take the time to be polite. It may seem like a very trivial thing, but gestures of kindness show more than just what is on the surface; they show a light that shines. Next time you’re in a hurry, just remember that holding that door could be a great thing for your life because you never know who’s watching.