What a great thought from the most recent broadcast of Music & The Spoken Word with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:
Delivered On: October 19th 2008
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell
Civility and Respect
Can you recall a time when someone treated you with particular kindness? Maybe it was a stranger, smiling as he held a door for you, or someone who sincerely asked how you were doing, or a person who was patient with you during one of life’s rough days.
Genuine respect is not easy to find, and it surprises us when we encounter it. Today it seems civility is waning, as people push and shove, bark and shout, replacing etiquette with attitude. We are so unaccustomed to the respectful language of eras past that old movies and old letters often seem stilted and old-fashioned.
We can’t turn the clock back and live again in a time when respect was expected, but we can try to stem the tide of rudeness and disrespect, simply by being polite and respectful. Even small acts cause a ripple effect that can inspire others, because those who receive courtesy are more likely to extend it.
It may be something as simple as complimenting someone for a job well done. It may be listening to someone who is down-and-out, granting him the same dignity we would give someone of high social rank. It may be extending extra patience to the elderly, to the disabled, and to children. Whatever the act is, it works best if we try to see others as their Creator sees them: as people of value, people with immense potential, regardless of their current station in life.
An ideal place to start is in our homes, where we can strive to hold back the rudeness of the world and through our example teach our families a better way.
There is beauty in civility and respect, and that beauty is worth preserving. It takes such little effort, yet it can have far-reaching effects. Let us fill the world with these shining, never-to-be-forgotten moments.