The golden rule is one of the best ways to summarize courtesy. “Do to others whatever you would have them to do you” (Matthew 7:12). Let’s think of the many opportunities where we witness courtesy (or a missed opportunity for courtesy):
- Holding a door open
- Offering a seat to an older person or a woman
- Letting a car merge in front of you
- Not being annoyed with the new employee working the cash register
- Offering to help if someone is carrying too much or something is heavy
Honestly, we could all write a long list of situations when people should have done something for us. We all have these expectations of how others should behave, what they should do, and it just gets on our nerves when it doesn’t happen. If this doesn’t apply to you, I commend you. You can stop here.
However, if it does apply to you, I have a challenge. First, review the list that I wrote and your own mental list. Then, pick one or two courtesies to practice intentionally for the next week and see if your annoyance increases or decreases. While you may first be frustrated, I bet you will be less annoyed as you strive to live the golden rule.