“Good manners are just a way of showing other people that we have respect for them.”
— Bill Kelly
A few, but not all, things have changed in the last two hundred years.
This was evident today as my daughter and I toured Mount Vernon, the colonial era estate of George and Martha Washington. America’s first president lived there until his death in 1799. Since then, a lot has changed.
In 1799, mail was undependable and expensive.
Today, the postcards I mailed will most likely be delivered in a couple days for under a dollar.
In 1799, real-time communication was limited to the same room.
Today, I read story to my daughters. One was in the same room. The other was in Oregon at the end of a Skype connection.
In 1799, horse and carriage teams were a luxury.
Today, my daughter and I took the high-speed Metro and a taxi 20 miles in 20 minutes.
In 1799, trees blossomed in the spring.
Today, on a gorgeous spring day, the trees were blossoming.
In 1799, George and Martha Washington showed courtesy and hospitality to any stranger that showed up on their door. Over 430 people in one year alone.
Today, we can extend a small bit of that presidential courtesy by holding a door for someone, greeting a service worker by name, or giving an extra large tip to a waitress.
In 1799, a lot of things were different.
Courtesy doesn’t have to be one of them.
Today’s gift of time – Took my daughter to Mount Vernon … Mailed several post cards to friends and family … Read my daughters a story over Skype and in person.