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.
– Hilaire Beloc
On a beautiful September day not long ago, Jeff and I enjoyed a few hours on the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. As we strolled along I noticed an elderly man ahead of us, taking in the sunshine and cooling breeze with the help of his attendant, who walked beside him with patience and kindness. It made me happy to see this gentleman able to be out and about on such a beautiful day.
Bikes whizzed past and children played, but all were mindful of each other, sharing the space with the sort of collective joy made manifest in such agreeable surroundings. It was not unlike the neighborly accord I experience on my daily walks.
It’s easy to get caught up in the notion that great and courageous deeds are needed to make the world a better place, and of course they are. But they are perhaps less pervasive — and maybe even less needed — than simple, common courtesy. How often has your day been made more happy (or less) by the cordial (or rude) behavior of a stranger? Don’t you love it when people you’ve never seen smile and greet you? Courtesy may not be the flashiest or most obvious way to demonstrate our understanding of grace, but it carries the potential to change the world, one person at a time.
I wish you a day filled with courtesy, flowing in grace, to you and from you!