“After you.” “No after you, I insist.” Remember when our world was a bit more like that and a little less selfish?

I’ve noticed a point of contention in myself regarding the manners of our world recently. When I take the higher road, “after you,” and the other party takes the road with zero thanks back, I find myself getting a bit frustrated. This happens while I drive so consistently that it’s getting to be comical.

Here is how the scenario goes. I drive up to a 4 way stop and get there before the person to my left. Being the sweet lady that I am, I wave them on, “go ahead.” I look for the thank you nod, smile, wave or lips moving to mouth “thank you” and I get nothing. They drive forward like it was their turn and I did them zero favor “letting” them go first. The same thing happens when someone wants to pull out in traffic and I stop to let them in or a pedestrian is waiting to cross the street and I stop to let them go. Or worse yet, I slam on my brakes so I don’t run over the middle school kid who doesn’t look for cars and thinks the world is his or her right of way. Where did all the appreciation in the world go when someone goes out of their way, even if only for a second, to do something thoughtful for another?

Because this traffic scenario happens over and over and over and over to me, I was starting to wonder why. I believe things happen for a reason and it’s all about growth, learning, loving and forgiveness. I turned this frustration around and looked at it from a different perspective. I asked myself, “why do you NEED someone to say thank you? Are you letting them in front of you because you are kind or because you NEED to be appreciated?” I found that I had the limiting belief, “when I do something nice for someone, they HAVE to say thank you to me.” While it’s polite to “mind our manners,” what good does this belief of others having to say thank you bring me? All this limiting belief does is frustrate me whenever there is a lack of appreciation. I’m going to continue teaching my kids to “mind their manners” as will I, but maybe I can let go of the frustration and annoyance when the courtesy is not reciprocated. Maybe I can keep letting cars ahead of me and when I don’t get a thank you, my new belief can be: “when someone forgets to say thank you, I forget to notice.” I’m not going to stare at them waiting for the thank you. I’m going to do my good deed and move on.

Is there anything in your life that keeps showing up that you might be willing to change your perception of?