Coventry Patmore says somewhere that courtesy is the only virtue that will be practiced in heaven. I wonder if that is so? Courage? No, for there will be nothing to fear there. Hope? No, for our life will leave nothing to be desired. Charity? No, for then we shall hunger no more, neither shall we thirst. Sympathy? No, for there shall be no more crying. But there will still be room for the exercise of courtesy, the kindly greeting and salutation of one soul by another.
Immanucl Kant had a saying, "Always treat a human being as a person, that is, as an end in himself, and not merely as means to your end." The personality of ourselves we feel very intensely and at outraged when others seem to ignore that personality in us, but the personality of others we do not sense so keenly.
One of the largest railroad companies in America has issued this bulletin, which is displayed conspicuously in its cars, stations, and in other public places:
Courtesy is a business asset, a gain and never a loss.
Officers and employees, above all others, should be courteous.
Use courtesy in all dealings with passengers, patrons and with one another.
Railroad men help their company by being courteous.
This railroad believes in courtesy. Even the discourteous like to be shown courtesy.
Smooth away life's difficulties by being courteous.
You will find your value increased by courtesy.
Life is not so short but there is always time for courtesy.—Emerson.
If a railroad thus impresses courtesy upon everyone connected with it, how about a church? The manners of a Christian ought to be the best manners in the world. Are we living up to this standard? or do our rudeness and discourtesy bring reproach upon religion? —Selected.
Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, and his eldest grandson were one day riding in a carriage together. They met a slave who respectfully took off his hat and bowed. The President, according to his invariable custom, returned the salutation by raising his hat. The young man paid no attention to the Negro's act of civility. Mr. Jefferson, after a moment's pause, turned a reproachful eye to him and said, "Thomas, do you permit a slave to be more of a gentleman than yourself?" —The Volunteer's Gazette.
It pays at all times to be courteous. One may not feel just like it, the circumstances may not always warrant an effort, but in the end it will pay to act the gentleman.
A friend of the writer tells of a young lawyer of brilliant prospects, who located in a Western town, and began the practice of his profession. One day soon after he had opened his law office, he was riding on the street car, when an influential business man noticed him, and thinking to introduce himself and encourage the young man, he moved across to the other side of the car, by the side of the young lawyer, and said, "What is your name?" "My name is mud," curtly answered the young man. "Oh," said the other, "excuse me for interrupting you."
The years went by and the young lawyer was successful, and finally aspired to a certain political office of prominence. The politicians said to him, "If you can secure the votes of the men working in—mine you are sure of election." He visited the mine, asked for the superintendent, who came into his presence. With much dignity the young lawyer said, "My name is —." "Ah," said the mine superintendent, "when did you change your name?" "Change my name?" replied the political aspirant. "I have not changed my name." "Oh, yes you have, for you told me on the street car a few years ago that your name was mud." "Oh, ah! I know—that was only a joke." "No," said the superintendent harshly, "your name is mud at this time for any favor whatever."
The election came off, and the young lawyer was defeated by just seventeen votes, and these votes were cast by the men at the mine.
Again, I say it pays to be courteous, to act the gentleman anywhere—everywhere.—C. E. Cornell.
We know many agreeable sinners, and we know of some disagreeable saints. A saint should never be disagreeable, for there is no virtue in having an ugly disposition or bad manners. Let us determine to wage unceasing warfare upon our own eccentricities, but let us determine to be patient with the eccentricities of others. Though we cannot get away from disagreeable people, we can do wonders toward reducing the numbers of disagreeable people in the world. The method is simple. Let us cultivate amiability. Let us learn to laugh. The muscles of our face are growing stiff, and as these muscles grow stiff we grow homely. After awhile we shall make the wonderful discovery that we are not meeting so many disagreeable people as formerly. It is wonderful that we can change the world by changing ourselves, but it is true nevertheless. Jesus emphasized the gentler virtues, and He exemplified them in His life. Turn the other cheek, return good for evil, give love for hatred, and soon your enemy will begin to love you. A winsome disposition can overcome many distempers.—The Watchman-Examiner.
America can never be called an ill-mannered country. We pay more than ten million dollars every year in toll charges to add the word "please" to our telegrams.
The toughest problem some children face is that of learning good manners without seeing any.
Hearts, like doors can ope' with ease
To very, very little keys
And don't forget that they are these:
"I thank you, sir" and "if you please."—Author unknown
The man sitting in the street car addressed the woman standing before him.
"You must excuse my not giving you my seat—I'm a member of the Sit Still Club."
"Certainly, sir," the woman replied. "And please excuse my staring—I belong to the Stand and Stare Club.'
She proved it so well that the man at last sheepishly got to his feet.
"I guess, ma'am," he mumbled, "I'll resign from my club and join yours."