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Say Them Every Day

The Golden Rule, or the ethic of reciprocity, is found in the scriptures of nearly every religion. It is often regarded as the most concise and general principle of ethics. Here’s a sample:

  • “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” — Judaism and Christianity, Bible, Leviticus 19.18
  • “Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” Islam, Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 13
  • “Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.” Confucianism, Mencius VII.A.4

“Please,” “thank you,” “excuse me.” These simple phrases help us practice in our daily lives the Golden Rule: treat others like we wish to be treated. Practicing these words will make you aware of the consideration and respect you should give to others. What a different neighborhood, workplace, and world we would have if we all made an effort to practice saying these special words. In our culture we teach our children to say thank you before they can talk. If it is so important for an infant, then as adults it should be a familiar part of our daily interactions. Making an effort to practice saying these words can enhance your day and the days of those around you.

Thank you. How many times a day is too many to say thank you?  Each day we should make an effort to thank others for their kindnesses, no matter how small.

Please. Please is a word that sweetens any request. Try putting “please” before each request that you make of another person. No matter how mundane, the word “please” makes the receiver feel appreciated.

Excuse me. Barreling through life, we often infringe on others’ space; often this is unintentional, just a by-product of daily living. An “excuse me” will temper any situation. Saying “excuse me” is a simple acknowledgment that can change the course of a reaction.

In our everyday lives we will find many opportunities to use “thank you,” “please,” and “excuse me.” These simple phrases are the backbone of a civil society. Make an effort to practice them daily.


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Etiquette is the fine tuning of education. - Nadine Daher