Recently I was walking down a street in downtown Sacramento on my way to meet with a client. The entrance to the building I was heading towards was quite extensive and consisted of three sets of double doors. The street was relatively empty and I could easily feel the presence of the other men and women walking nearby.
As I was walking up to the building entrance, a woman was approaching the building from the opposite direction. Not sure which door she was heading for, I paused for just a moment, holding the door open for her, but she entered the far set of doors as they were closer to her.
I mentally shrugged and entered the lobby just behind her. To my surprise she turned around and smiled. She said “Thanks for the thought, I’m glad chivalry isn’t dead.” I smiled back and we exchanged polite conversation before heading off to our different floors.
That little incident made me stop to ponder about our society and culture. I didn’t think holding the door open for her was such a big deal. I do it lots of times and not just for women either. It seems polite and considerate to stop and hold the door so someone else can go in. Yet, this woman was touched by it. I began to think about the last time someone opened the door for me, and realized it was probably a bellman at a hotel or a hostess at restaurant.
What ever happened to random acts of kindness and consideration? In a world growing more violent and impersonal, we need to do what we can to add a bit of civility to it. As a leader, how about becoming a Knight for a day? Ladies, you can be Knights too!
Just for a day, let’s all do this. Smile at people you meet. Say good morning to people you make eye contact with. Open the door for someone any chance you get. When you shake someone’s hand, hold onto it for a second, look them in the eye and smile. Tell someone who provided you a service how much you appreciate them.
For just a day…Be a Knight!