I believe that ...
being polite and having generally good manners is important. Saying please and thank you seems to be going out of fashion which saddens me.
From being very small we were encouraged and expected to use these simple phrases in our everyday lives. Being polite was and IS important. These simple words make a huge difference to how we perceive others and to how we are perceived.
At a dance rehearsal recently I assisted a young man (aged about 11ish I think) with his costume. I held onto his masks and cape so they were ready when he needed them and assisted him when he managed to get a huge knot in his cape tie. He was delightful and charming and at every given opportunity he said thank you to me (and with a huge smile) and when his co-star was struggling he came and said please could I help her, which, of course, I did.
This shouldn't have been so out of the ordinary but it was. I noticed it because it was unusual. I had helped several children that day, he was the only one who consistently said please and thank you and is someone I would not hesitate to help again.
When shopping the other day I was in the queue behind an older gentleman. He had finished putting his shopping on the conveyor belt so had (as I would do) put the "next customer please" sign behind his shopping. I said "Thank you". He turned and looked at me, genuinely surprised by this response, smiled a huge smile and said "You're welcome." I smiled back and continued to put up my shopping. As he left he smiled at me, nodded and said "Goodbye". I reciprocated. This was a very minor exchange, nothing in the great scheme of conversation, but both of us had our tedious shopping trips brightened by politeness and manners.
What an easy, cost free way to bring a little joy and make someone smile.
(This is linked to Amy Palko's Beautiful Beliefs project)