By Levern Allen
Co-Chair, CommUNITY Living Committee
Kindness, good manners, respect, and consideration for others are elements of present-day contentment that sprouted in childhood. When I was young, my parents made sure that I knew “how to act in public.” They also made sure that I treated my brother and sisters with respect. All of the toys did not belong to me. They had to be shared. “Good morning” and “Goodnight” were spoken every day.
When I was young, my parents made it their business to instill in me the importance of good manners. These values carried into adulthood and continue today. I suspect your parents did the same. While circumstances shape us and create differences, the underpinning — the things that make us alike — remains the same. An understanding of these differences and their causes might help increase our tolerance for behaviors not like our own.
Consider the following:
• Everyone wants to be acknowledged. Offer a compliment. “That’s a beautiful cane you’re carrying.”
• Expand your gratitude practice. “Thank you. The meal was very good. Have a good night.”
• Send a complimentary note to a staff person’s supervisor.
Begin to create a high ratio of positive events. When someone says, ‘Thank you” respond “You’re welcome.” Your level of happiness, as well as that of the person on the receiving end, will increase.
Civility is not a minor consideration at Riderwood. It is up-front, and we want to practice it every day. Riderwood is where the staff does its best work, and the residents live their best life. Everyone has time to be polite. Make it part of your day. You will be rewarded with the kindness that your parents taught you.