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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Be Courteous

In researching this post, I was surprised to discover that an old friend can't be found online: Ron Barrett's "Politeness Man." An exhaustive search turned up only one presence, repeated numerous times.

He was the "super hero" star of a comic strip in the National Lampoon, a nattily dressed fellow who went around "correcting" people's behavior--and often behaving rudely to do so. His super-weapon was the "hanky of steel," which he'd fling at the courtesy-challenged and knock 'em on the head.

Well, his execution may have been off, but his intention was dead on: it's better to be polite than not.

I mentioned this before, when writing about karma: A smile is more likely to get you what you want.

When I was a kid, we were taught the magic words: "Please" and "Thank you."

(Once, in Japan, the assistant manager at the school where I worked wanted to get past me in the hallway. "Move," she said, so I asked, "What's the magic word?" She thought for a minute, then said: "Open sesame?")

Anyway, there are lots of reasons to be courteous, and getting what you want is only one of them, because after all: Courtesy is its own reward.

And besides, you'll avoid the hanky of steel.

So be polite. Please. And thank you!

You'll be happier.

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