How interesting that no one around him spoke to him, admonished him nor was rude to him even when his behaviour was so discourteous towards others. It was an excellent sign to me. I live in a society that remains polite even when others choose differently. After all, good manners is not pointing out to others they have bad manners. Courtesy can be contagious but we need to let it propagate.
When I was explaining the theatre event to someone else he asserted that if would not have been so easy for my seat-mate had they been his neighbour. And I thought to myself what is the right choice? I was quiet? Should I have said something? Why did I not say something? Living a conscious life means evaluating it and here is what I learned about myself.
Part of my role on planet earth is to lessen the amount of conflict, not increase it. When another chooses behaviour that causes me discomfort I still have a choice to make. In fact the movie was good and I was enjoying it but I decided that the person beside me had good reason to accept a call. He did it as discretely as possible and for the second call actually stepped outside of the theatre. I decided it was not really that interruptive for me. I decided to forgive him on the spot. That was my choice and it worked well for me. I was courteous to him regardless of his choices.
Yesterday when I came out of the back door of my building a car was parked blocking the door so it would not open. I managed to get out and then I wrote a note to the person on one of my business cards. I politely pointed out that they were blocking a fire exit and would they refrain from doing so in the future. I said thanks at the end of my note. I chose deliberately to be courteous. I chose to write the note I would like to receive. I was courteous and felt good about my choice.
Each and every day we are confronted with opportunities for us to demonstrate the type of person we are. I choose to make a conscious effort to be the person I want to be. I think that being polite and courteous is important and so I strive to be it. That is all I can do and I reap the rewards of that which I sow. My life has without a doubt less conflict than many people I know and I find most people are also courteous to me, but even when they are not I can always lead by example.