Monday, November 27, 2006

The Invaluable Place of Courtesy


One of the most important aspects of Love, as a practical human social function, is held by simple politeness or courtesy. Courtesy is the "lubricant" that cuts down friction to the point where interpersonal relationships are made possible. Human interactions are incredibly more difficult if courtesy is deleted.

People, if unevolved, are often rude by nature. This is, of course, the lower nature of the lower (animal) mind. In utter egocentrism, we lose the ability to think of the feelings of others, and become hard, thoughtless, and insensitive. The spiritual person is empathically the opposite. For people of a spiritual mindset are much more aware of the nature and dynamics of Love. They are more sensitive to the presence or absence of courtesy, in both themselves and others.

Often, people who are very bright in other ways can be crude and rude, for they might have a low awareness of the real need for courtesy. For those suffering from this dim awareness, it must be pointed out that negative comments about a person are rude, and violate not only "common" courtesy, but the highest principle of spirituality (Love).

For those who must have it made very plain, here are some comments that are impolite, even offensive:

"You are stupid."
"You look older."
"You are bald."
"You are fat."

These, and a plethora of similar comments, would never be made to strangers. They are simply too invasive and intrusive. They are antiagapic (counter to Love) because they are anticourteous.

But, when we are closer to people, we often let down our guard. We often behave stupidly, and speak carelessly. Ideally, however, courtesy should be even more evident, not less so, with the people with whom we are close, with the people whom we claim to love. For Love should increase, not decrease courtesy.

Let us vow, then, not to be stupidly careless, especially with those whom we love. For if courtesy is not present, neither is Love. And if Love is not present, we are in deep darkness indeed.

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