How Showing Courtesy Can Lead to Success
The story of a true gentleman
John Boyd was a young man who had studied at a college and was confident that he would succeed in life. He believed in the importance of courtesy. In truth, courtesy was part of his personal philosophy.
He got a job as a porter in the House of Representatives in Washington.
One day a gentleman who appeared to be an important businessman approached the doorman and asked the doorman where he could locate Senator Sergeant, from California.
The doorman, who evidently did not give importance to the philosophy of courtesy, in a very pompous way made the gentleman understand that he had enough to do, as to follow the Senators.
Boyd heard the conversation and it seemed to him that this attitude of the doorman was not in accordance with his principles of how to treat people, so he caught up with the gentleman and promised that he would find the Senator if he was in the building.
Your gesture was greatly appreciated. Boyd found the Senator and the gentleman came to see him.
The gentleman, very grateful for Boyd’s attention, handed him his card and asked him to come and see him at his hotel in the afternoon. When Boyd looked at the card, he was surprised to discover that this unknown gentleman was none other than Collis P. Huntington, the eminent President of the Railroads.
When they met at the hotel, Mr. Huntington offered him a position in his important company, with an excellent salary.
“But,” — said the young man, — “I don’t understand anything about the railroad business.”
“But you know how to be a gentleman,” replied Mr. Huntington, “and that is what many here are ignorant of.”
“I have always looked after the little things of my business; weightier matters will take care of themselves.”
— Collis Potter Huntington
John Boyd accepted the position.
After a year his salary was doubled. Later it was tripled.
Is it worth being courteous? Of course, yes.
There is nothing that costs so little and is worth as much as courtesy. It is an external expression of inner goodness. It is an indication that the person has a noble heart and delights in serving.
“Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much.”