Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Be polite. Even when the other person is rude.

One of the most powerful things that people can do to make this a better world is this: Be polite. Be respectful. Show courtesy even — and this is the really hard part — when it’s not returned. For one thing, being courteous and respectful even in the face of rudeness is a GREAT way to stop the escalation of meanness that we so often see.

I read the following in an essay by Greg Knauss, which is included in a book called Things I Learned About My Dad. The book is pretty good. It has lots of good stuff about parenting, but has lots of other good stuff too:

If disobedience is maddening because it's active and open defiance, and lying is maddening because it's sneaky and covert dismissal, then rudeness is maddening because it's thoughtless and self-satisfied arrogance. Oh, were you there? How about that? You don't like having your dinner interrupted with an air horn? Huh. How, exactly does that affect me?

So let's avoid being thoughtless and arrogant. Being nice is well... nice.

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