This I Believe

Joel - Dalton, Georgia
Entered on June 22, 2007

I believe that courtesy is what sets a civilized culture apart from the rest, and it is a true measure of a person’s character to see how people treat others. From the time I wake up until I go to bed I practice good courtesy. All a person would have to do in order to see me being courteous is call me when in need, walk by me with a full load, or walk up behind me when I am opening a door.

When I am around my friends, family, or my soldiers the last thing that I tell them after I say bye is to call me if you need me. Many people turn off their cell phones and ringers at night before they go to bed, but I leave my phone lines open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. One time a friend called me at two in the morning and told me he was in jail and I peeled my body out of bed and bailed him out. Sometimes my phone courtesy is abused when I receive a call from a telemarketer, because I answer the phone and immediately realize that I am speaking with a salesperson. I cannot just hang up and so I have to wait until they have said their peace and then I tell them I am sorry and that I am not interested.

I cannot stand to see someone walk by me with both arms full of stuff and trying to carry something else in their mouths by biting it. I always ask people, friends, and strangers if they need help because I think that courtesy should be extended to those who need help. A few days ago I saw a person walking into the campus pulling a wheeled book cart, holding two book bags in her arms, and carrying car keys. When I saw this person struggling I was on the third floor of the building so I ran downstairs and helped this person by getting the door and carrying part of the load to her class.

I am an equal opportunity door holder because I will hold the door open for people with total disregard for gender, race, or creed. Holding a door open of for a person is such a simple courtesy, but it distinguishes a person as courteous by not letting a door slam into another human’s face.

Courtesy is defined as a courteous, respectful, or considerate act or expression and without it our society is reduced to being nothing more than animals. So extend a little courtesy the next time you see a person in need or a person you can help.