Taslim Ahammad : In this flora and fauna where everyone is busy rushing around trying to achieve their goals, it is easy to forget the simple acts of kindness that may make all the difference in someone’s day. Yet, despite the hustle and bustle of modern life, good manners and courtesy remain essential. It is refreshing to be reminded that there are things that possess immense worth without costing a penny. One such intangible yet invaluable asset is courtesy. The phrase “Courtesy costs nothing, however, its value is priceless” put in a nutshell the idea that being polite, respectful, and considerate towards others carries massive significance that exceeds monetary value. In a society where self-interest and personal gain may overshadow compassion and empathy, it is crucial to recognize the inherent value of courtesy and the positive impact it has on individuals and communities. This essay will explore the profound meaning behind this phrase, highlighting the ways in which courtesy enriches our lives, fosters meaningful connections, and contributes to a more harmonious and compassionate world. The phrase “courtesy costs nothing” is an old proverb that has stood the test of time, reminding us that treating others with respect and kindness does not require any financial investment or material goods. Rather, it is an attitude and mind-set that can transform our interactions with others, creating a positive and harmonious atmosphere. Courtesy is all about using your good manners, which is why it shares roots with the word courteous. Holding the door open for someone, writing a thank-you note for a gift, and letting the pregnant lady have the last seat on the bus are all courtesies that would make your parents proud.
Courtesy refers to the polite and considerate behaviour or actions displayed by individuals towards others. It involves treating people with respect, kindness, and good manners. Courteous behaviour typically includes being polite, using proper language and tone, showing patience, being attentive, and demonstrating thoughtfulness towards others’ feelings and needs.
For one, courtesy is a universal language that can bridge cultural and linguistic barriers. No matter where someone comes from or what language speak, a smile, a kind word, or a simple gesture of politeness can convey respect and warmth. This is particularly important in an increasingly globalized world, where diversity and multiculturalism are becoming the norm. Furthermore, courtesy care for trust and builds relationships. When we treat others with kindness and consideration, we create a sense of safety and security that encourages people to open up and share their thoughts and feelings. This, in turn, can lead to deeper connections and friendships, as well as opportunities for personal and professional growth. In addition, courtesy is a powerful tool for conflict resolution. When we approach a disagreement or misunderstanding with an open and respectful attitude, we can often find common ground and reach a mutually beneficial solution. This is far more effective than adopting a confrontational or aggressive attitude, which can escalate tensions and damage relationships. Moreover, courtesy can improve our own well-being and happiness. Studies have shown that people who practice kindness and compassion experience lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enjoy greater levels of satisfaction and fulfilment in life. This is because acts of kindness release oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of happiness and well-being, while also reducing the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can have negative effects on our health.
First and foremost, we can start by being mindful of our interactions with others. This means paying attention to our tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions, and making an effort to convey warmth and kindness in our words and actions. We can also take the time to listen actively and empathetically, showing interest and understanding in what others have to say.
Secondly, we can be proactive in offering help and support to others. Whether it’s holding the door open for someone, offering to carry a heavy bag, or simply asking how someone is doing, these small acts of kindness can go a long way in making someone’s day a little brighter.
Thirdly, we can practice forgiveness and understanding. When someone makes a mistake or behaves in a way that we find frustrating or hurtful, we can choose to respond with compassion and empathy rather than anger and hatred. By doing so, we not only drawn-out the situation but also create the possibility for healing and growth. Lastly, we can lead by example. By showing good manners and courtesy in our own behaviour, we inspire others to do the same. This can create a ripple effect that spreads kindness and positivity throughout our communities and beyond.
In summary, the phrase “Courtesy costs nothing, however, its value is priceless” emphasizes the endless worth of presenting courtesy and respectful behaviour towards others. While it requires no financial investment, the impact of courtesy can be profound and far-reaching. By treating others with kindness, empathy, and respect, we create an atmosphere of harmony and goodwill, fostering positive relationships and building trust. The value of courtesy extends beyond mere politeness; it enhances our personal and professional interactions, improves communication, and cultivates a sense of community. Regardless of our social status, background, or circumstances, we all have the ability to demonstrate courtesy, making it an invaluable asset in our daily lives. Its influence spreads far beyond its initial act, leaving a lasting impression on others and often inspiring them to respond the same considerate behaviour. Therefore, while courtesy may seem intangible, its true value lies in its ability to enrich our lives, create meaningful connections, and contribute to a more harmonious and compassionate world.
(The writer is Assistant Professor, Department of Management Studies, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University).