My friend Joelle jokes that she has a black belt in “tongue fu.” I had to laugh but she was serious. She said that when she was growing up, the pastor of her church thought that she had a perfect family. But Joelle said that her mother “was an angel on the outside and a devil on the inside.” She said it was like Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll—but in her case, she was Mrs. Smile and Dr. Scream. Her Mom maintained perfect composure on the outside but lost it the moment she was in the house.
These days, Joelle tries her hardest not to use her tongue fu on her husband and kids. She really works at courtesy. Courtesy for the people nearest and dearest to us is, at times, the hardest to practice. Our family members can get on our nerves. It’s so easy to lose our temper. But we can’t save our courtesy for the outside world. We can practice being courteous – being aware of other people’s peace of mind and comfort – with those we live with, too.
Tool for Tuesday: Courtesy begins at home.