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. Good manners are appreciated as much as bad manners are abhorred, and a polite enemy is just as difficult to discredit, as a rude friend is to protect. 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 with one item in the grocery line behind someone with a full cart with a gentle smile, and body language that makes 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.