Little Courtesies

I adore old-fashioned romance and the little courtesies characters so often paid each other in books written a century or two ago. And yet I'm so grateful to live now. I'm proud to call myself a feminist. I'm a believer that we can work toward a better, fairer world for all.

I used to let these two issues knock about in my heart when I was young; how can I like something seemingly so old-fashioned and yet be in love with now and the gifts of our modern age? But then I realized those two ideas can live together, and it comes down to this: Everyone be nice to everyone. 

If a person reaches the door first, open it for others. If someone looks unwell on the train, a seat should be offered (or, better yet, help gotten). Smile and lend a kind word, wherever and whenever.

It's not a man --> woman thing. It's an everyone thing. This is not a controversial or groundbreaking or fresh pronouncement, I know, but I like to ponder it.

Wilfair is built on these ideas, or at least I intended that it be. I hope the series is something of a future-forward salad barely dressed by an old-fashioned vinaigrette. (Yes, I will always go to the food analogy.)

Our lead character is in charge of a big hotel; her best friend is a strong-willed girl unwillingly to be silenced or kept down by anyone. And yet there are little courtesies afoot, and lots more to come. And evening gloves and snoods, to up the nostalgia. Those won't ever diminish our ladies' power. Nope.

What's your favorite all-time little courtesy?


bess said...

I like telling my fella how handsome he looks, why should the ladies expect all the compliments? I also like it that whenever we go onto dinner, my dad holds my coat for me to put on, no one else ever does that and it catches me by surprise every time but seems perfectly natural to him.

Wilfair Book said...

I love people helping with other people's coats. It's such a lovely gesture.

Chiara said...

I'm all for the everyone being nice to everyone thing. Feminism is one thing, and I've always called myself one ever since I've been aware of what it is but it's not only about the empowerment of women, it's about equality and everyone being nice to everyone is such a simple yet powerful message that everybody should take to heart. The world will become a better place if this would be the case.

Your sentence about smiling and lending a kind words reminds of something I wrote in my answers but then deleted but I like smiling at random people, I wish there would be more smiles around. I have absolutely no idea anymore what the direct quote was (but I do think I wrote it down somewhere back then) but years ago one of my university professors once said something about smiling at strangers and how it could make somebody's day. I'm a big fan of that thought.

And while I am thinking of what my favorite little courtesy is, maybe it is just that, a smile from a stranger.

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