Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

-Proverbs 22:6

Don’t make me come in there.


While sitting at my post outside of Starbucks, an inspirational event unfolded at the entrance.

A young professional burst out the front door and took three strides before sliding to a halt.  Shaking his head, he returned to the door and held it open for a stroller-pushing mother.  Smiling humbly, he said, “Mom taught me to always do this…”  Then he sprinted to his car—now a little later for work, but feeling better about it.

Sometimes we hesitate to be courteous out of fear that we will offend someone—that our helpfulness will be misinterpreted.  It is an unfortunate reality.  Thankfully, this young businessman has provided a gift for us: two habits that form a powerful combination.  Today’s habit is a dynamic duo!

Remember: a habit is an automatic implementation of a behavior (or set of behaviors) in response to a stimulus.  It is what you do when given a cue.  You don’t have to think about it; it just happens. Previous habit blogs focus on the concept of habitsHabit #1: Expressing LoveHabit #2: Questions before AnswersHabit #3: Sleep to Live, and Habit #4: Single-Tasking.   Habit #5: Double-Checking.

Habit #6 is a two-for-one special!  The first habit is to be helpful—to make courteous behavior habitual.  Hold that door.  Smile.  Give pleasant greetings.  Say please and thank you.  Remove obstacles.  Clean up messes.
And if anyone questions your motives, go to the second habit.  Blame it on Mom.  Brilliant!

People might want to question your motivation, but they are unlikely to say anything against your mom!  If Mom taught you to be nice, you better do it!  This is a universally accepted truth.  Mom-endorsed helpfulness is not to be questioned.  Don’t mess with Mom.  Thus the powerful combination.

Be nice.  Blame Mom.

She won’t mind.