We all have childhood memories that especially stick with us; for my sister and me, one such incident centered on a box of Godiva chocolates. Our mom had received a box as a thank-you gift, and she put it in the refrigerator to keep it cool and fresh. To us, it was chocolate, and neither the price nor the brand mattered. As you may know, it is challenging to determine what is on the inside of each custom-designed piece. Therefore, we decided to carefully dig out the center of each piece from the bottom. If we liked it, we ate the whole piece, and if not, we left the remnants in the box. This approach was successful until our mom decided she would have a piece from her special box of chocolates. 

You can probably imagine what happened when she opened the box only to find that some pieces were missing and the ones left behind had been dug through from the bottom. Yes, she was upset with us; but what I most remember is related to courtesy. The connection may seem a bit odd, but I learned a valuable lesson. 

Receiving this box of chocolates as a gift meant much to my mom. It showed that the gift-giver had recognized and acknowledged the work she had done. Therefore, she wanted to savor and enjoy this special gift, to recall being treated with respect and appreciation. Of course, any such considerations were the last thing in our minds as my sister and I dug the centers out of the chocolates! 

Living the beautiful virtue of courtesy raises us above ourselves and enables us to put aside our wants, desires, selfishness, and even laziness for the sake of others. It helps us pause and think before speaking, acting, or even poking our fingers in the bottom of candy. 

My sister and I always remember my mom when we see a box of Godiva chocolates, and if one of us receives a box, guess who gets it, unopened? 

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