Pleasantries can have a deeper meaning.

Please reflect and share. How does this play out in your life?

Polite discourse is a social emollient. We use it to smooth over potentially difficult situations. It helps keep the mood of interactions easy and light. We avoid social friction by being pleasant.

Often is may seem like we’re mouthing a formula. “How are you?” “I’m fine. How are you?” We appreciate another’s minor effort to be polite, but is may come across as insincere. Pleasantries can feel like they have no substance.

Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way. All we need to do to improve the situation by at least 50% is to summon up the emotion to mean what we say. We can offer up a “Hi! How are you?” and actually feel it. The customary polite exchange is socially acceptable, but our caring and willingness to listen transform it into a meaningful and possible intimate interaction.

Todays message advises me it’s possible to be both polite and sincere. When I view personal interactions as encounters with the divine, it’s easier to feel genuine caring for the other person. Ritual conversational exchanges can take on new meaning and depth when I imbue my words with genuine caring and good will. The quality of my social interactions depends on m investment in them.

How about you? How do you feel about pleasantries?