While attempting to clean off a layer of gravel on a flower plot in between two parking lots, I was dealing with more than dirt. Every year the snow plow pushes salt, sand and gravel onto this mound of earth and the flowers complain. The tulips had migrated from the center to the edges and the soil was full of grass, and pebbles. The plan was to put in new taller plants, rocket salvia and some deep purple lilies. Scratching around it became clear that that space wasn’t working. Heck. I resented the dawning painful realization that change was required, a do over. Wanting to go back to the known path, the comfort zone was strong. As much as I claim to like change, the effort to bushwhack through the possibilities, dig into different turf and rearrange my expectation was daunting. I could feel that sense of I’m old, I don’t want to change but reality required an adjustment. That’s the point though, isn’t it? Ignorance is willfully resenting what reality requires. All the plants aren’t in yet, but we are heading in the right direction.
Mindfullness, good manners and civility have something in common. These principles all share the goal of awareness of others and then making an effort to anticipate what they need . Civil behavior assumes that other people are worthwhile and worthy of respect This courtesy is extended one on one. Here’s a few ideas
Give a break to a mother with a cranky child by letting her ahead of you in the grocery line
Notice if someone needs a tissue or a glass of water in a meeting
Put your trash in the barrel in public places
Don’t drive while using the cell phone
Don’t use a cell phone in a public place where others can hear your conversation
Dress appropriately for the occasion
Allow an elderly person to go first or offer a hand to steady a step.
Be patient with a child that does not do things as quickly as you wish
The wakefulllness required is not about using the right fork but rather the practice of graciousness and consideration to make everyone feel welcome in our shared world.