Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are you courteous?

I was travelling in the SMRT (Singapore Mass Rapid Transit - To Chennaivaasis’: our electric train- flying train kinda matter) with a colleague of mine, a very old lady (like our Avaai Granny) entered into my compartment in the next station, I just got up and gave my seat to her. I received some weird looks from the co-passengers and my friend asked me in Tamil, “Why happened dude? Any girls around, whom you try to impress?” I just smiled and didn’t tell him anything. So many are like that they think courtesy is to impress someone.

While driving, did you ever want to switch lanes, but were prevented from doing so by the heavy traffic? How did you feel when someone recognizing your problem slowed down, waved to you, and let you in? Your mounting frustration was instantly transformed into relief and thankfulness, wasn’t it? Later, when you saw someone else in a similar jam, didn’t you also slow down and let them in? You were sharing and spreading the kindness you received from another. How do you suppose the driver you just helped will act? Most likely, they will do likewise. Look at the power we have to sweeten the lives of others!

Sometimes, the seemingly trivial acts we perform are the most important. Courtesy is an example. We refer to it in different ways, such as civility, good manners, good behaviour, good conduct, politeness, decency, respect for others, thoughtfulness, kindness, and consideration. No matter what we call it, courtesy is NOT trivial.

Unfortunately, TV, movies, the media and merchandisers often portray rudeness and aggressiveness as being "in." Not wanting to be left out and wishing to be "cool," the young blindly follow the examples espoused by their heroes and heroines. Who can blame them? They don’t know any better. They have yet to learn that rudeness is the imitation of strength practiced by the weak. They don’t understand that polite people are enamored with life while those who are rude are bitter. Our manners, then, are the clothes we wear. It reveals what type of person we are. We need to teach the young by our examples that the strong are kind. The strong reach out and connect with others. They unite, uplift, and improve the world. Those who act kindly ennoble life because they imitate God.

So what do you think about being courteous? Ok before hearing to you let me hear what Edmund Burke (1729-1797) has to say, "Manners are of more importance than laws. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in." (சோக்கா சொன்னாரு பாரு மேட்டரு) So, so far if you are not courteous here are few courtesies which you can follow from now;


  • Say “please” and “thank you”, “hello” and “goodbye” – it sounds so basic, but I can’t tell you how many people take this one for granted. Do it!
  • Smile and look interested in others ... and listen.
  • Open doors (regardless of gender).
  • Look at people when you talk to them.
  • Introduce yourself and others.
  • Be helpful.
  • Respect people’s time.
  • Compliment people.
  • Write thank-you notes.
  • Do what you say you will do.


  • Cell phone: They are private, shouldn’t be used in public areas. Never disrupt the service you are performing to take a call – on cell phone or regular phone.
  • Pagers/beepers: Put on vibrate; don’t check private or confidential information in front of others.
  • E-mail: Not private, check spellings, keep short, use subject line always.
  • Fax: When faxing to hotels with your client’s information, “white out” names and other confidential information.
  • Speaker phone: Don’t use unless it’s a conference call; people who don’t pick up their phones are seen as arrogant.
  • Voice mail: Keep your own message short and change it regularly so people know when to reach you. Say your name slowly at the beginning and end of a message.
  • Telephone: Put a smile on your face and nothing in your mouth – no gum – remember, no one likes to hold. When scheduling an appointment, make sure you are very specific – double check dates and times. Also, verify all appointments at least 48 hours before they are scheduled to occur.

To end (yeah it has to be ended being a blog *sigh*) Courtesies cannot be borrowed like snow shovels; you must have some of your own. So next time, try to give your seat people who are old and needy when you travel next, try to hold the door for people who are behind you when you pass through a door and just smile and thank people when they do something for you, because you can lighten them up for the day. Cheers…


Vinnie said...

Wonderful !!
Next time, please call ppl with their names..its the sweetest thing for them:)

Kaycee said...

A nice and commendable effort, Arun!

Senorita said...

@ Arun...good one, agree with you on this, once I met this friend of mine, we chatted for a while and when we were parting he said "Have a nice day!!!", this small but powerful statement put a smile on my face and honestly I did have a good day after that!!!...I have been using this statement regularly since then...never fails to put a smile on peoples faces...good manners sometimes rub off on you, my friend sure was able to pass it on to me :))

Lancelot said...

@ Vin

Sharks don't bite until you touch their private parts...

@ Kaycee

Nandri Rati Agnihotriji

@ Sen

So true, can create a magic with a smile(people say I've got a killer smile :P) and few nice words and little lies...

Genius Kamal ! ! !

Trisha : கண்ணோடு கண்ணைக் கலந்தாளென்றால் களங்கம் உள்ளவன் எச்சரிக்கை உடனே கையுடன் கைகோர்த்தானா ? ஒழுக்கங் கெட்டவள் எச்சரிக்கை ஆடை க...