Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Do it for yourself

I walked with a friend to the newsstand the other day The friend bought a paper and thanked the shopkeeper in refined words. The owner, however, did not even acknowledge it. "An unsociable person, isn't he?" I commented as we walked away.

"Oh, he's that way every day," shrugged my friend. "Then why do you continue being so polite to him?" I asked. My friend replied, "Why should I let him determine how I'm going to act?"

Politeness is generally not only accepted but also appreciated in all spheres of life. Living in society, we need to possess certain qualities, amongst them being politeness, that enables us to live among people and to interact with them successfully.

We have to choose our words and thoughts carefully; no matter whether we are having a bad day or we are just tired of the way a person is behaving. It truly requires a lot of restraint and self control to avoid reacting to provocative behavior;

When a person behaves badly, we wonder whether to sever all relations with that person even if he is a dear friend. I say you have to do what's good for you but do it with love. Severing something that is causing you mental anguish and problems may sometimes be necessary but one should not harbour negative feelings towards such a person. If you convey your feelings to the person in a nice and polite way, it may infuse a new air of trust and friendship into the relationship.

We cannot control others and how they act or what they say, but we can certainly set an example by our own polite and considerate behaviour However, this does not mean that we should not stand up to wrong doing. We can be assertive without being offensive while defending our rights and opposing a wrong. For example, when we pay for something, we expect to get what we pay for and if we don't, there is nothing wrong with our speaking up and saying so politely and firmly It's about you, not them.

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