It takes little effort to extend kindness. The entire month of September gives ample opportunity to practice being kind. It’s National Courtesy Month!

The word courteous comes from the Middle English word ‘kindness,’ which means ‘noble deeds’ or ‘courtesy’. One of the greatest novelists in the English Language, Henry James, once said: “Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; the third is to be kind.” So, what does it mean to be courteous?

Courtesy can mean several things to different people. To some, being courteous means being helpful. To others, being courteous means being polite and having good manners. Courtesy can be words spoken or actions towards someone. Courtesy is about manners and respect. How you choose to show someone courtesy is entirely up to you!

Courtesy should never have limits for people you know. Showing a stranger common courtesy could be the defining factor of their day. Oftentimes, a small gesture, such as a compliment, can make a person feel appreciated. When people are considerate to one another, a positive effect happens. Moods improve and smiles are easily found. Starting your day with a polite demeanor will have a ripple effect on the people you encounter!


There are so many ways to show kindness to people through courtesy. Hold the door open for the people behind you. Mow your elderly neighbor’s lawn. Compliment that shy person you see every day on the subway. Above all, SMILE at everyone you meet.


Though we were unable to find the founder of National Courtesy Month, we did find a National Courtesy Campaign launched in June 1979 by the Ministry of Culture of Singapore. The campaign aims to encourage Singaporeans to be more kind and considerate to each other.

Partial information: National Calendar Days

Posted in