The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

what keeps you nice?

I wrote a piece about this for the most recent issue of In Polite Company and got some really nice feedback.  Get it? Nice? lol

(This post will get better, I promise.  There’s some tube top talk toward the bottom.)

What do you to that keeps you acting politely?  What do you do that keeps your engine running so smoothly that your first reaction to any situation is, well, not much of a reaction at all?  A co-worker smashes your sandwich in the break room fridge, yet it rolls off your back like water off a duck.  In your son’s haste to beat his little brother inside, he steps on your foot(wearing cleats), yet you limp on inside humming Sweet Home Alabama. 

Do you visit a certain place?  Do you eat certain foods?  Do you drink anything in particular? Yes, that one could take on a life of it’s own. Do you schedule a girls night out?  Or, a guys fishing trip?  Do you have particular quote that gets you through? 

Here’s one of the things I do – and it’s not one I listed in the newsletter article.  Apparently, it takes a lot to keep me acting right.

From phone 4-29-10 010  

You do laundry?, you might ask.  Absolutely not.  Doing laundry makes me very impolite.

I make a conscious decision to take a picture of something I want to remember.  That forces me to look around at all the things moving forward while I’ve been busy working up a good mad.  It makes me look at my surroundings with a new eye.  One that will actually allow something good into my brain. 

I try to make these pictures NOT always be the kids.  Now, don’t misunderstand, I love my children, but it occurred to me a while back that there are images, places, events, and people from my “growing up years” that I have no physical reminder of.  So, I take pictures that (one day) my children will see and enjoy telling their children about.  What does this have to do with being polite?  It forces me to consider someone else’s needs and showing consideration, respect and compassion for other people is the first step in acting nicely.  

This picture, for example, shows the kid’s bathing suits and towels drying after playing in the lake.  We spend a lot of time at the lake and have great memories of being there.  I hope this picture will remind them of these years.  Because I’m pretty sure it won’t be too long before my daughter will NOT want her mother wearing a bathing suit around her friends or planting the garden in a tube top.  Sorry, no pictures of either.  Having any picture taking skills whatsoever is not a requirement in this exercise, clearly.

So, share!  How do you keep up your nice act?



2 responses to “what keeps you nice?

  1. Broahmomo May 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Christian, Satellite Direct Tv

  2. katetlewis May 19, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I am so flattered! Thank you for saying so and I hope you keep stopping by!

    Have a very nice day,

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