Wednesday, February 01, 2012

"Kindness is never old-fashioned."

"Life is perfect for none of us.
Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other,
may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life."

~Thomas S. Monson
Prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Carpet in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Photo by me.

Each week I receive an emailed newsletter from The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
I'm not sure how I ended up on their mailing list,
and to be honest, I usually delete the emails before they're even read.

However, as I sat in my car in the long-term parking lot at Salt Lake International Airport,
waiting a bit longer in the warmth of my car, since I had just missed the shuttle,
for some unknown reason I opened up last week's newsletter.
And I'm glad I did.
What I read reminded me once again what is most important to me in my life:
the relationships I have with others.
And that it takes some effort to nurture those relationships, but the payoff is sweet.

I've reprinted the article for you below. (Or you can find it here.)

"The Greater Courtesies"
Nineteenth-century American writer Christian Bovee once said, “The small courtesies sweeten life; the greater, ennoble it.” Sometimes, with the pressures and stresses of life, we might forget that in many cases, the small things are the big things. The lessons of good manners we learned as children—to say “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me”—may seem outdated in today’s demanding adult world. But politeness is never out of style, kindness is never old-fashioned, and we never outgrow courtesy.

And it goes much deeper than polite words. As one commentator noted: “Making people feel important is part of courtesy, so it’s important to remember that whether or not people remember what we say or do, they do remember how we made them feel. . . . Always be kinder than necessary because you can never be too kind.”
Helping people feel respected and loved takes more effort and, at times, more self-discipline than just remembering to say please and thank you. But it’s the mark of a great soul.

This type of courtesy focuses more on how we make people feel than just what we say to them. It springs more from sincere love for others than from a mere sense of social obligation. It measures not the size of the courteous act but the size of the heart behind it. A smile, a returned phone call, a thank-you note, a word of congratulation on a special occasion, verbal and nonverbal responses to those who need our attention—even these seemingly small things, if inspired by genuine love, can turn out to be the greater courtesies, the big things that both sweeten and ennoble the life of the giver and the receiver. 


1 comment:

Sharon Young said...

I just have to say -- I love reading your blog. It's quite possibly my all-time favorite blog to read. Not that surprising, as you are also one of my favorites.