The twist of being human weaves the human comedy into the human tragedy. Last year, I visited a senior care center with a kindly, elderly woman. She saw a patient sitting in a wheelchair with a can of beer on his knee. She thought he was taking contributions, so she took a quarter from her purse and dropped it into his beer. "You didn't have to do that!" the startled man said with a smile, half thankful, half forgiving.The Italians have a disarming phrase for "please." They say per cortesia. Instructively, "Courtesy" originally meant the kind of behavior you'd expect from people connected with a royal court. (That's also where "curtsy" and matrimonial "courting" came from.) It's still a royal quality, but at times these days, it seems as rare as royalty.
The Twist of Being Human Bob Mueller Today's Woman; Nov 2008; 18, 11; Docstoc pg. 54 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Furt
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