Courtesy is such a powerful and amazing gift to give. Courtesy is a silver lining around the dark clouds of civilization; it is the best part of refinement and, in many ways, an art of heroic beauty in the vast gallery of man's cruelty and baseness. Mastering courtesy alone will enhance your life and the lives of others. We can give a tired clerk a kind and understanding glance. We can give a frustrated driver a spot in line on the road. We can give a hopeful passerby a kind smile and wave. We can speak to people at all stations of life with respectful and polite words and tones. We can wait patiently when we have only one item in the grocery line behind someone with a full cart, offering them a gentle smile instead of a frustrated tapping foot; body language to help make their day better. When we want to talk, we can instead listen, and let our attentiveness to another's need to speak be our silent statement. All of these simple but powerful gifts have immense value to the person receiving them, and all are examples of an overarching philosophy of giving and service that we can each apply in our lives every day. Simply by thinking about something other than ourselves, and by monitoring our behaviors with a pure and selfless intent of making the lives of other people better, we have the privileged opportunity to change them for the better. The solution to nearly every problem in the world comes down to greater awareness, compassion, and empathy. The roots of all commonwealth are planted in the understanding that we are all the same human beings. What we do to others, we do to ourselves.