Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Common Courtesy

Day 42 ( Wednesday 11th January 2017)

42 times higher than the national air quality standards - was the finding of
scientists in India when assessing pollution in Delhi 
during Diwali (the
celebratory fireworks plunged the city into smog and 
air pollution levels
rose significantly
 on the night of the Diwali holiday.) Air pollution causes as many
as 10,000-30,000 deaths annually in India
Today's post is by a delightful man, whom I met for the first time on 8th December 2016 - Bede Northcote, the Managing Director and founder of Northcote Internet Ltd, a business that provides videos for online annual reports and live events production. Bede has had a fascinating route to where he is now - with a degree in Nuclear Engineering and a period in the British Royal Navy as a submariner, before  working in software development and as a consultant for a range of organisations including IMR Global, Thomson Financial and Morgan Stanley International. I met Bede because he and I share a love of rugby - having both played in the front row when younger. We enjoyed watching The Varsity Match together - I am pleased to report that, being supporters of Cambridge, we had much to celebrate (Cambridge broke a six year run of losing to take the title). 

Bede can be found on Twitter (his handle is @northcote_b), although he is seldom active in a personal capacity. His post is on the theme of heart and the impact people have on others through the way they interact.


Common Courtesy

For some years now, I have been trying to be more polite.  

It has the most wonderful benefits.  I started by thanking bus drivers and now try to look back at the driver and wave my thanks as well.  This invariably results in a smile and a wave back.  I now hear more bus passengers also thanking the driver.  We rely on so many people doing hard jobs in difficult situations at odd hours of the day and night that politeness is the least that we can do.

London Transport's first female bus driver, Mrs Rosamund Viner, at the driver training centre in Chiswick 1974

Britain has always thought of itself as a polite country.  We need to work at being more polite and remembering that manners, etiquette and civility all help us get along.  This is particularly true in the coming years as we face a new future.

This thought has lead me to another level.  I have a wonderful multi-national and multi-cultural team working for me.  A lot of them are from Europe and the morning after the Brexit result, they felt that they weren’t as welcome here as they had felt before.  Meanwhile all of the rhetoric from our politicians assumes that we can just get what we want.

We need to be more polite, we offer help to the world and we should be polite in asking for it back.  We should be generous in our offers and un-assuming in our expectations.  We have no right to expect a better world for ourselves.

Banksy drawing in Clacton

If we approached the future negotiations with utter politeness, maybe it would be much easier.  People achieve so much more happiness and success when they are polite to each other rather than assuming that everything is in conflict.  Countries are only huge collections of people and politicians are only representatives of people.  If the people demand politeness, then contentment will follow.

The first thing we could do is offer the wonderful people who are British by choice, the protection of our country. 

Global etiquette

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