"Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart."--Henry Clay
Though I admire the writings of Henry Clay, I take exception to the description of courtesies as "small and trivial," for I believe that courtesies are never small and never trivial. On the contrary, I believe that courtesy is the hallmark of a civilized society. Our society has increasingly grown away from this as we disregard manners and basic civility.
When did we decide that a text sufficed as a thank-you? When did we decide that a rude gesture and/or a crude word was the right way to deal with someone who has (probably) accidentally cut us off in traffic? When did we decide that giving up a seat to an elderly person or a pregnant woman on a bus was too much trouble?
Certainly, this is not true of everyone. There are welcome exceptions to this. But my heart is saddened when I witness uncaring, unkind behavior.
Joy for today: giving and receiving courtesies.