So what happened to holding the door open for people?
Door in my Face
Civility is defined on Dictionary.com as “courtesy; politeness” or “a polite action or expression.” Some days it seems that civility has fallen by the wayside. Just a couple of days ago I literally had to run across a roadway in a Chapters parking lot lest be mowed over by an impatient driver. Then I was promptly cut off in traffic and nearly t-boned at an intersection. This was not a stellar day for me. However, in discussions with others, it seems the consensus is that although people say Calgary is very civilized compared to larger centres like Toronto or Vancouver, as the population grows, civility appears to be decreasing.
Maybe in order to increase the feelings of contentment with each other in our ever-growing communities, it might be worth examining our own selves and making changes there in order to help promote kindness and civility in others. I have friends who routinely purchase coffee for the car behind them in the morning coffee lineup. I know others who do various things to help add kindness in people’s lives. They mow or shovel their neighbour’s lawns, volunteer regularly, make meals for those experiencing personal set-backs, always hold doors open, bring coffee over to those who can’t get out easily and so on... Having been on the receiving end of these acts of kindness, I can vouch for the fact that it really puts a positive spin on the day and makes me want to go out of my way to help others as well.
A project started in Calgary that would be a worthwhile addition for our smaller rural communities is the ‘3 Things for Calgary’ concept. In this concept there are three steps they request we fulfill:
#1. Reflect on the following questions:
· What am I good at?
· What do I care about?
· What do I have to say about it?
#2. Take 3 minutes to write three sentences in response to those questions and then talk to 3 friends about what you wrote.
#3. Visit 3thingsforcalgary.ca
There are a multitude of ideas and projects that could be pursued. If it’s something that you actually enjoy doing and promoting – here comes your new pastime! You might even increase the civility of your own family members by working on a project that your child or spouse is passionate about. It could be a project inspired by a loved one who has passed or it could have a historical focus incorporating something in your ancestral lineage or have historical significance in the area or community that you live in. By getting involved you become engaged with other community members and share your energy and knowledge. By making time for others, your passion might spill over to other members who want to carry your vision even further. You might want to introduce your idea to schools, groups or even Kijiji and other community posting forums.
Although I realize you had a jolting moment with nobody holding the door open for you that particular day, I’m hoping there are many other examples that you can reflect on when there was someone in your day that went that extra mile for you. However, even when you feel it cannot be considered a full mile, maybe we could still celebrate the inches.
Let us know if you start a ‘3things’ project!
“It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely?” Leo Buscaglia