Manors, courtesy and being a gentleman

Jeremy Schell

Let me start by saying thank you to my Mom,  Dad and my Grandparents!  You raised me and taught me many things and although I am grateful for many of the life lessons (granted I still don’t understand all of them), instilling a sense of courtesy and manors has to be the best.  My never-ending ability of sarcasm has to be a close second…..thanks Dad.

Seriously ….whether it be holding a door, offering to carry someone’s bags, offering a coat, loading someone’s groceries (who could be your grandparents’) into their car, treating others with respect, or just addressing anyone with Sir or Ma’am, let’s be honest manors never go out of style.  My parents beat this relentlessly into me for years.  Although it may be second nature for some, it is painfully obvious when it is lacking in others. 

This became readily apparent this past week for me.

I was walking through downtown Vancouver and I found myself constantly holding doors for others coming and going out of the shops I was visiting.  There’s nothing special about it, it is just being polite however I was amazed how many people went out of their way to acknowledge how rare courtesy is today and say thank you.  Honestly I had not noticed and it wasn’t until I was about to leave a local grocery store that it became apparent when a mid-20’s man in a business suit walked out in front of an elderly woman carrying her groceries.  In his haste,  he just let the door swing behind himself about knocking her over as it slammed closed.  With the impact and commotion she dropped her groceries all over the floor.  I started to assist her and help pick everything up, both she and I noticed no one else was paying any attention and in fact they were going out of their way walking around us going about their lives.  She didn’t have to say anything but the look in her eyes, the smile on her face and the sincere thank you she said showed how grateful she was for the assistance. 

Next time you yell at an elderly driver (regardless of how bad they are driving), or fail to hold a door open for them, have someone go out of their way for you or you just complain that someone is going to slow, imagine they may be your mother or grandparent and ask yourself will they be proud in how you are acting? Are you honoring what they taught you?

I never say it enough but thank you Mom and Dad…..I hope you’ll be proud of how your grandson is being raised.  He will be a better person than I ever have been.  This is the greatest lesson you taught me.

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