Having attended an all-girl catholic high school, a lot of emphasis was placed on manners, and opening doors for people was one of them.
Before I had my children and was forced to carry luggage and strollers everywhere I went, I never put much thought into the importance of this simple courtesy.
Today, I was walking out of a Starbucks with my sleeping baby in her stroller. It was one of those double glass doors where you have to push the door open with your left arm, hold it there, and push the stroller forward with your other arm. Then, reach to grab the second set of doors while keeping your foot as a door stop for the first door. Then use your third arm to continue pushing the stroller and somehow make it through. All while, rolling your “city stroller” over winter mats, hoping your baby stays asleep through this 4.7 richter earthquake. So, as I was reaching the end of this acrobatic defeat, and pushing through the second door, a man walks right through and thanks me for holding the door open for him.
I continue to shuffle my way through when a lady walks through the door and thanks me for holding it for her…
Yes, I was thinking about how stupid and oblivious some people are. I was laughing at the situation to myself, but felt no reason to say anything. At that moment, (while I’m still struggling with the door) an older lady, walks up and offers to help.
“Do you want me to hold the door for you?”, she said. “They should be holding it for you, not thanking you!”
I laughed, and told her it happens more often than you’d think.
And it’s true that it does. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been trying to enter a store off a busy street, and no one will hold it open because they aren’t going into that store themselves. They simply keep walking with their blinders on, usually busy with their phones.
So here is a lesson on common courtesy that seems to be forgotten by most. Be considerate and hold doors open for people! When walking through a doorway, always look behind you so that you’re not slamming it in someones face. And keep an eye out for people who need help with their wheelchairs, for the elderly and of course for women with strollers and small children!
In a world striving for equality, feminist movements and mutual respect, it seems some believe that chivalry is dead. But let’s not confuse common courtesy and kindness for anything that may belittle someone. I for one, and I’m sure many mothers will agree, truly appreciate those who will open a door for me, especially when I am out with the kids. So let’s remind our friends, our peers and our children the importance of opening doors and holding them open for people. It requires compassion and consideration, and might even cause you to share eye contact with someone.
This courtesy is the simplest act of kindness that you can do every single day. It might even encourage the person behind you to pay it forward, and you may have started a wave of kindness. Your simple act may make someones day infinitely better. And while your at it, smile!
Next: When there is only one elevator in the mall, and you have two perfectly functional legs– TAKE THE ESCALATOR!!