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Saturday, September 17, 2022

Thought for the Day: A Little Courtesy Would Improve the Culture Immensely!

I don't have many original thoughts and this one certainly is not. It reflects an almost proverbial truth:

Courtesy is the grease that makes the gears of society run smoothly. 

Whenever I think of that word "courtesy," I think of Hilaire Belloc's poem:


                            Of Courtesy, it is much less
                            Than Courage of Heart or Holiness,
                            Yet in my Walks it seems to me
                            That the Grace of God is in Courtesy.

                            On Monks I did in Storrington fall,
                            They took me straight into their Hall;
                            I saw Three Pictures on a wall,
                            And Courtesy was in them all.

                            The first the Annunciation;
                            The second the Visitation;
                            The third the Consolation,
                            Of God that was Our Lady's Son.

                            The first was of St. Gabriel;
                            On Wings a-flame from Heaven he fell;
                            And as he went upon one knee
                            He shone with Heavenly Courtesy.

                            Our Lady out of Nazareth rode -
                            It was Her month of heavy load;
                            Yet was her face both great and kind,
                            For Courtesy was in Her Mind.

                            The third it was our Little Lord,
                            Whom all the Kings in arms adored;
                            He was so small you could not see
                            His large intent of Courtesy.

                            Our Lord, that was Our Lady's Son,
                            Go bless you, People, one by one;
                            My Rhyme is written, my work is done.

What does courtesy entail? I see that word "court" embodied in it and imagine a king's throne room where all the visitors treat the king and queen and all the members of the retinue with respect and courtly manners. There may be enemies among them and personal dislikes, but still each person subdues his feelings in favor of behavior that recognizes the dignity of each person as a child of God. 

My resolution for the day is to treat every person I meet as though he or she is an important person in my life -- to greet even strangers with a smile and a cheerful word. As Christians we want to show God's face to the world, and  we can do that through practicing courtesy because the "grace of God" truly is in that courtly treatment of others.

Think what a difference we would experience if all the world practiced courtesy instead of barbaric hostility toward those with whom we disagree. 

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