|Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.|
When did opening doors, giving up seats for the elderly, or assisting someone stranded on the side of the road become such a major inconvenience? When did smiling at a grocery clerk or offering a kind word of encouragement to a stranger end up such a quirky thing to do? My husband and I tell our boys everyday that they are neither above or below anyone else on this earth. By the luck of the draw, we've been placed where we are; we could have just as easily been born into poverty as wealth. The size of a person's billfold does not determine the depth of character; instead, a person's greatness is measured by the number of lives he or she impacts in a positive way.
When I see an obvious omission of polite behavior, I become incensed. Where has human decency gone? I don't have a heart of gold; however, what I do have is a normal, every day expectation that people should treat others with courtesy and respect.
There are still others whose names will never be famous; folks more inspiring because they make an amazing impact on the lives around them without fanfare or glory. They hide in the shadows and volunteer their love and assistance because they know in their "golden hearts" that this is simply the right thing to do. They give without asking anything in return, never complain, and oftentimes leave this earth without so much as an acknowledgement. God bless them.
So, as I sit here typing, thank you for saying that I'm a good person; however, I do not have a heart of gold. There are many in this world who deserve the title more so than myself.
Friends, let's always remember to do the following:
- When we see servicemen, servicewomen, or veterans, let's walk up and say, "Thank you."
- When an elderly person or a pregnant woman needs a place to sit, regardless of the inconvenience, let's give them our seat.
- Always hold the door for the person behind us, whether it's for a man or a woman. It's the polite thing to do.
- If someone needs help carrying packages, their child is having a temper tantrum, or they look like they're having an awful day - don't judge, simply offer them assistance or a kind word.
- Finally, teach our children to do these things and above all, to be courteous towards people who appear different. Our children must learn tolerance and empathy. We're all in this together.