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Courtesy Never Hurts

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

  One of the most distasteful sights to see is an ill-mannered “hue-man” being. It’s highly repugnant to observe.

  Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of witnessing an example of this sort of insolent behavior, and believe me it was shameful to say the least. The individual, who committed this act, was nothing short of rude and haughty in his actions.

  I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, so let me, first, tell you what I saw that perturbed me. It happened as I was getting some gas at a service when a young Afro-American brother drove up to an adjacent pump to get some petro, when out of nowhere, an apparent homeless elderly Euro-American gentleman approached him and asked for a possible handout.

  Upon seeing this gentleman approach him, the African-American youth went into a bigoted, expletive-laced tirade, denouncing the elderly gentleman with appalling words that weren’t nice to hear. The elderly gentleman, obviously taken aback by this unforeseen verbal attack, look terrified and frightened by this callous and wanton verbal assault upon his personage.

  The aged man shockingly looked as though he was turning colors as he retreated to where I was, looking I’m sure for a place to hide from what was a startling attack from the impolite  young man. As I watched what was happening before my eyes I felt compelled to say something to the young Black youth, who appeared to be around nineteen-years-old.


  I told him he was being disrespectful to the older gentleman, who only asked for a handout. Also, I said to him that there was no need for all of that uncalled for profanity had he was spouting to the older man.


   The young man now seemed to turn his venom towards me as he began to express himself in not-so-profane language, but still being rude in conduct. I related to him that he needed to calm down, because, in so many words, that he was making a fool out of himself for no reason whatsoever.


   Somehow, I wondered how and why I was drawn into such a hellish encounter. By this time, the old man had all but disappeared into the darkness of the evening, probably looking for escapism to the nearest comfort zone of protection from the young man and his unmannerly barbs. 


   Honestly, I was somewhat shocked by the young Black man’s demeanor. I thought to myself, even if he was annoyed by the White homeless man’s inquiry of him for funds, all he had to was to tell him politely to leave him alone, or simply not give him any money, which he obviously didn’t.


   While being in that state of affairs made me feel sorrow for both the homeless soul and the incensed young man. It was sad to see that the young man was so heartless and uncaring to and for the plight of an apparently less fortunate “hue-man” being.


   I said as much to the young man as he began to calm down slightly. He, sensing that I was attempting to tell him something for his own benefit, turned down his tone of antagonism towards me, an absolute stranger.


   That gave me a leeway into telling him that it doesn’t take but a moment to be courteous (and respectful) to another “hue-man” soul, even a supposed beggar. I mentioned to him that that man was probably old enough to be on the age with his father, and possibly could have been his grandfather’s age.


   The young man was still irritated as he finished pumping the fuel for his vehicle, all the while muttering something incoherent to my ears under his breath. He then got in his automobile, gunned the throttle and drove recklessly off to points unknown.


   I believe that there is a sign in everything, and that includes what I had occurred in my life’s experiences at the gas station. The thing that I learned from this encounter was that being “Courteous Never Hurts.”


   Explicitly, here’s my take on the nature of being courteous. The philosopher Emerson once wrote: “Give a boy address and accomplishments and you give him the mastery of palaces and fortunes wherever he goes.”


   Talking about that lead in from Emerson, I view the essence of courtesy having more value to a “hue-man” than a hundred letters of written praises to no one in particular. I frankly believe that being respectful and courteous are commanding assets of the “hue-man” character that’s more valuable than money or gold.  


   “As I See It,” it never hurts to be courteous to anyone, even those who you may possess less than what you have in life. I’m hoping that the young Afro-American youth, who regretfully blew his stack, would and could understand that he, nor I or you, is any better than another creature of God Alone, no matter what his, or her, temporal station in this life may be.


   That’s an imperative point to remember as you read on because, Lord knows, we in “hue-manity” need a self-check in respecting each other in society. That assessment applies to all ethnic creatures regardless of education, gender, vocation or nationality.


   I believe that it doesn’t take anything from anyone to be courteous to another fellow “hue-man,” even the so-called “down and out” and the “have-nots” in society. Truthfully, there’s no praise for dignifying  crassness and insensitivity in “hue-man” interaction.


   My parents instructed me that being courteous to all, who you come in contact with, lightens everyone’s burdens in life. They said that it requires and demands equal respect, and I’ve come to see that it’s factual.


   In my thoughts courtesy is a respected elder to humility and opportunity. It follows our every waking existence in life. Always take the time to be courteous to yourself and others to whom you come in contact with.


   Being courteous helps you mature in wisdom in being at peace with yourself and others. I pray that the fuming young man grows to learn about the truth of being courteous to himself and others.


  Life is a more than just a “me, myself and I” reality show. It’s about being involved and “real” with others also, because the world is made up of all “hue-man” types in variant financial stations and colored disguises.


   Please take the time to be courteous to all who you encounter in your life’s journey, even if you disagree with them. For today, and always, that’s “ As I See It.”



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