Courtesy means gentle politeness and courtly manners. It is a simple gesture that can really change everything. In my mind, the lack of courtesy is the root of all evil these days. And when I say that, I am not talking about the automated mindless gesture that resembles courtesy. I am talking the real deal. The whole-hearted, sincere, warm, genuine gesture that is so rare nowadays. What happened to "You look stunning", "I am so happy for you", "Great job", "I am sorry for your loss", "I really appreciate your help on this", "Your baby girl is so pretty"? My theory is that we are all too busy to let people know how we feel about them. We are all too busy to care and when we don't care about the people around us, the world is no longer a good place.
Think about it for a second: things happen around us all the time and we choose not to care. We ignore what is happening and we carry on untouched, emotionally removed and unaffected.
I choose to care so the next time people pass around an office card, I won't sign it. Instead, I will find 15 seconds in my very busy schedule to walk over and say something nice. I won't simply say it but I will mean it. I will say it like I have never said it before. I guarantee you that this gesture will make a difference. It will be better than a signature on a card (if you are lucky to get a card).
"Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."
Ralph Waldo Emerson