I had a man knock on my door the other day. He was a Jehovah’s Witness bringing me the ‘Lords’ word and the monthly Awakened magazines, which I don’t mind browsing through every now and again.
This months Awakened was about miracles and if they really do happen. This particular man believed that we no longer get miracles because as a species, we have advanced beyond miracle capability. We have airplanes and we have put men on the moon, so even if we did see a genuine miracle, we would take it for granted or be skeptical and not believe it to be real.
I thought this was a very cynical way of thinking about miracles. Especially for a man of ‘god’. Doesn’t his faith say he has to believe in miracles. What has happened to the human race, where not even men of faith believe in miracles anymore? He asked me what I thought on the subject. It didn’t take me long to reply because at that moment I realized, I have been teaching my children from birth to perform miracles. I am not a God, or a deity reincarnate or a prophet or even someone extraordinarily special. I am purely a mother who has taught her children the power of manners.
In this age of instant gratification, suffering, anger, propaganda and programming, the miracles occurring around us are not on a massive scale, but come in the form of an innocent six-year-old boy and nine-year old girl saying please and thank you to the cashier when they scan an item and give it back to them. It comes in the form of saying please when wanting something instead of just demanding it. It is the ‘excuse me’ used when they want to speak to someone who is in the middle of a conversation and the patient waiting for them to be finished. Miracles are watching children share their toys instead of fighting because it’s ‘mine’. It is showing the elderly the respect they deserve by letting them go first or walk past, instead of pushing in front or around them because they are too slow.
After telling the man at my door all this, he looked confused. He didn’t understand how manners could be a miracle. Manners didn’t change the world or end suffering or hunger. Could this man of faith really not understand the power of manners?
I took a deep breath and continued to explain.
If you’re having a really bad day, due to work, the economy, negativity, and you’re at the shops and all you want to do is get dinner and go home, get away from the rat race and relax, but the shop is crowded and people keep pushing past you while you are trying to get you’re items, isn’t it a breath of fresh air when someone stops and says ‘excuse me’? Then actually waits for you to move out-of-the-way and on top of that, says thank you as they go around you. Doesn’t that make you smile? Or when you make an effort to hold a door open for someone and they smile and thank you for it, isn’t that just a wonderful feeling? Manners are not purely words used because we have been taught to use them. They are an acknowledgement that someone recognizes you as a human being and respects you because you deserve it.
In a world where every person is programmed to be selfish, programmed that no one else matters, getting recognition in the form of manners, is a miracle. I could not count the number of times on one hand, when I have had an older person comment on my children’s manners. It brings a nostalgia to their eyes as they remember a time when everyone had respect for other people. Somewhere along the way we have lost that.
I also could not count the number of times I have had to thank my children for doing something nice for someone else, because the person hasn’t. My son likes to hold open doors for people and I usually have to (quite loudly) say thank you to him. And it is astounding the dirty looks I get from people when they realise they should have said it, not me. As though it is my fault they have no respect.
After a lengthy conversation with the Jehovah Witness at my door, he realised that, in actual fact, miracles occur numerous times a day.
It just took the strange girl with piercings and pink hair, that he would normally have never listened to, to restore his ‘faith’ in miracles. We all need to start respecting one another, without that small amount of respect, he would never have taken the time to listen to me and without that small amount of respect, we will never see a miracle occur again.
Take the time, listen, be respectful and use your manners. Everybody can change the world with a simple ‘thank you’. – Angela Soya