A Tom Peters ‘Excellence’ Video on ‘Courtesy Matters’
This video is a part of ‘The Little BIG Things Video Series: Excellence‘ by Tom Peters. If you haven’t come across Tom Peters as yet, he is a highly respected and influential business author and speaker, and a previous consultant for Apple in the 1980s; also referred to as the ‘uber-guru of business gurus’.
Here, Tom is offering words of wisdom that he finds particularly inspirational from Henry Clay, an 18th-19th century US lawyer and politician. (And I do agree with him.) This quote focuses on the concept of courtesy.
Perhaps doing something major for someone is really more of an event, and happens only occasionally. Always welcome and loaded with Generosity, of course. But, in contrast, it can be the little things, the less dramatic gestures of courtesy, that I sense show us the respect others may have for us. This is something that contributes to the harmony within a family or within a business.
The Japanese took the idea of courtesy perhaps further than any other culture has done in the entire history of the world. Courtesy was often even extended to one’s enemies, just prior to a deadly sword fight! Small courtesies to one’s ancestors at the family shrine were also an important part of one’s daily-life routine.
However, in Japan in more recent decades (perhaps through Western influences), this courtesy has become automatic. Bowing to one’s employer’s car as it drives away from the store or office has become a ritual process only. I’m certain that in many cases, the staff would not engage in this practice if it was not expected of them.
True courtesy is born of genuine respect for ‘other’. It is an acknowledgement of the spiritual essence within all people, and even within our pets and other beings. It can clearly be seen that the animals who share our homes are always grateful for the courtesy we show them in small ways. And their appreciation is often more pronounced than our own!
Courtesy is an attitude of mind, not a ritual. It is an unselfish focus on ‘other’, not on ‘self’. It is the small incidental gestures of courtesy that are full of thought amidst the madness of our days. When we can truly appreciate and honour other beings, and even the inanimate objects that support our life, we will find peace in our Hearts, and we will receive that courtesy and respect in kind.
Be good to each other! And, maybe, share Tom’s video!
. . . May you always live your Exceptional Purpose . . . with courtesy!
You can discover more about Tom Peters, and find many more of his free video series, premium courses, and his book titles, on his website: tompeters.com.