Wednesday, December 26, 2007

?After you, my friend?

Hundreds of visitors are in town for the holidays. More cars are on the streets. Snow sludge is slowing traffic to a crawl in some spots. Fewer empty parking spaces increase the frustration of finding one. Longer lines slow store checkouts.

Add this up and what we have is more stress, more jangled nerves, more strained patience, a rush to get someplace.

So, how much more pleasant the holidays would be if common patience and simple courtesies were the first reactions to stressful inconveniences and unexpected delays in our routine.

Very little effort is required and the results can be heartwarming and energizing.

If store lines are long, be patient. Don't be a buttinski. Even let someone go ahead of you. "After you, friend."

If you're a resident, be happy you're lucky to live here. Show it. Smile.

While driving in town, be courteous and safe. Observe all traffic control signs. Keep speeds low.

Park in designated places. Don't just make up a place on a sidewalk or crosswalk. No one is in that much of a hurry.

Roads are slippery. Be careful about pedestrians. Give them the leeway if necessary.

Be quick and willing to help people who look lost, or need a hand with packages.

Add a hearty and sincere "Thank you!" to those harried checkout clerks before leaving the store.

Even if some nearby person is being grumpy and complaining, be cheerful. It might be contagious.

Remember Mark Twain's proverb: "The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."

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