Thursday, February 04, 2016

Oh, The Responsibility!

Courtesy:  a respectful, or considerate act or expression. Favor, help, or generosity.


So while spending a couple weeks on the red couch recuperating from Horrible Nightmare Flu, this thought has haunted me:

I think Common Courtesy is dying.

I, personally, like to blame the Internet. (And ok--this, also.) I mean, via our computers we're in contact with tons of people! Folks we first met in-person as a child or when just married or as a young parent. And relatives, ones always known and those discovered through searches. Add to that the people we see Sundays at church, but also chat with at Facebook during the week, along with our other social media and email pals. And the bloggers, teachers and encouragers online who we've met.

And what I've noticed? In our busyness, sometimes we forget these crowds of people are real. Flesh-and-blood-with-feelings like we, ourselves, are. They count and it matters to God that--and how-- we interact with them.

Sometimes they have bad days. Become discouraged. Sick. Lonely, forgotten. They have money woes. Worry about their kids.

Their pets die. So do their dearly-loved friends and relatives.

Or they pour themselves into what God's called them to do. They work hard for something, and feel tempted, at times, to quit. They wonder about what really matters in Life.

Probably we each know hundreds of such folks. But what worries me? We forget that God asks us to love those He gives us. And common courtesy is just a first tiny step toward showing love:

"What you did, meant much to me. Changed me. Thank-you."
"I'm so sorry you lost someone you loved."
"I'll pray for you and your family."
"How can I help? What do you need? Can I bring you something?"
"Happy birthday to a special friend!" "Happy anniversary to you both!"
"Are you feeling better today? I've been thinking about you."
"Do you need someone to listen?"
"You did a great job with  ________. Congratulations!"
"Don't give up! Your persistence blesses me."

Oh, we might think these things, but common courtesy speaks them aloud. Or else it doesn't count.

I think the saying, "Actions speak louder than words," has too often shut us down. 

Our words do matter. Speaking words is an action of caring. But if we're not even taking the basic common courtesy step? Not starting there, then moving forward toward God-inspired love? Heaven help us. We're still babies.


Good intentions are not enough. They've never put an onion in the soup yet.


"...but the tongue of the wise brings healing."   ...Proverbs 12:18

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." ...Proverbs 18:21

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."...John 15:12


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"Be ye kind one to another."


Terra Hangen said...

You make a very good point and I like the idea of the onion in the soup.

Elizabeth said...

This is very true Debra, I do try and be mindful of the needs and feelings of others, but I too am guilty of letting life get in the way and neglect to do some of these things when I should. I hope you are feeling much better! Love and Prayers to you my friend!

Pam said...

You hit the nail on the head, Debra. Showing courtesy is not difficult, nor does it take a lot of time, so there's no excuse. I know that I have missed many opportunities to reach out to others, but when I listen to that "small voice" and obey His instructions, it becomes a fabulous experience for the giver and the receiver. Your post reminded me of something that happened to me nearly 25 years ago. I was employed by a college. The president of the college was a gorgeous woman with a PhD and a string of accomplishments. Her home flooded, right before she was scheduled to get married. I was in awe of her, but I just "knew" I was supposed to make her a delicious meal.I made a huge pan of deep dish lasagna, salad, bread and dessert. I took it all to her home and she wept. Several days later, she sent me a lovely note of thanks and told me that the meal I made was a godsend for her and her new husband. She even served the leftovers to some wedding guests staying with her. I will confess that I was super insecure the ENTIRE time I was making that food! A person like her had the means to buy whatever she needed. But the minute she opened her door on that Saturday morning when I delivered her meal, I could see genuine gratitude in her eyes. She never forgot it, either. God knew exactly what she needed and I am so glad I listened to Him. I know I need to listen more carefully to that small voice, and reach out to others more! Often, it doesn't require that we make a big meal, but that we speak words of gratitude or encouragement. Deb, thanks for your reminder!

Dewena said...

Strangely enough, I have a post waiting--I keep moving it forward on the calendar--that is about courtesy. I have not been posting very often and keep putting it off trying to first catch up with everyone else, and too, it is about seeing a very uncourteous comment someone left on a blog friend's post recently and wondering why people do that.

It seems like such a drop in the bucket to post it and besides I feel that I'd be preaching to the choir. But your post blessed me and gave me some ideas of what even I, at my age, might still do to help. Food is always one thing, isn't it? For several years, a few decades ago, I was responsible at church for getting meals taken to those members who needed it, and found out that food is always welcome.

And I also read your previous post about your effort to make what you take to dinner on the grounds a little prettier through china you bring. I'm applauding! We do eat with our eyes first!

Maybe I'll get up my nerve to go ahead and run my own post on courtesy!

Debra said...

Terra--thank-you! I liked that onion idea as well. It's easy to picture and remember!:)

Elizabeth--thanks so much! I am feeling better, but I'd really like this cough to go away. Oh dear. And you're not alone in not always doing the courtesy things--we all fall short and need reminders since our busyness does get in the way. Big sigh.... :)

Pam--loved your story! Thanks for sharing it with us. Everyone needs encouragement and oh, all the doors that open to us when we realize that!

Dewena--oh definitely! Please do share your courtesy post. We all need to be reminded of it, for none of us get it right 100% of the time and often we just forget the importance in all our busyness. Thanks for commenting on my picnic post, also! I do like remembering those times when I did things a bit out of normal. The reactions I go were so varied and it was good for me to follow God rather than the crowd.

Thanks, Ladies, for your comments! Blessings, Debra

Deborah Raney said...

So true, Debra. Alas, one of my biggest frustrations with social media is that it gives us so many "friends" that we can't possibly keep up with them all in a meaningful way. And yet, that doesn't make those friends any less treasured. I truly hope that one of the "features" of heaven will be that we have the capacity to truly engage personally and intimately with every soul we love...kind of the way God, in his omniscience, is by his very nature able to do.

Meanwhile, I'll stumble along hoping I don't hurt feelings or miss something important in the lives of those I genuinely do care about, but sometimes simply can't convey how much.

Debra said...

Thanks, Deb! I love how you always understand what I'm really trying to say. :) Your idea about relationships in Heaven sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing that. Blessings, Debra