This is something which is in rapid demise in our real world, yet is seen in abundance in MacGyver, and indeed in people of that and earlier generations. It’s something I consciously make my kids aware of because it’s about basic respect. Things like stopping to let someone go through a door ahead of you instead of pushing in first; standing aside to let less-able people, prams, trolleys, etc get past you, even letting someone with a small amount of items go through a check out ahead of you when you have a full trolley of groceries. These are all things that I personally don’t see at all in today’s generation because they are entirely focused on themselves and I think that’s the key point; Manners and courtesy are about thinking of other people either equally or ahead of yourself. This was a big part of the MacGyver mind set and I think it’s a good way of improving ourselves and any other generation we have influence over.
There’s another aspect to this which I’m very mindful of and that’s have the courtesy to stop and lend a hand. One scene from MacGyver which really highlights this point for me is when MacGyver is in his painting class in the Negotiator and Deborah knocks her brushes over. MacGyver immediately stopped painting to help pick them up. He didn’t even stop to look at who he was picking them up for; It was just his instinct to help. Another really good example of courtesy is in the pilot episode when MacGyver and Barbara are running through the airlocks as they are closing on them (I think) and MacGyver paused to make sure she had gone through before he did which is the old “Ladies before Gentlemen” idea but again back to my previous point of letting others through the door ahead of you.
I often think of those two scenes and the old saying that Manners cost you nothing. And it’s so true. There is absolutely nothing to lose from pausing to let someone walk through a door ahead of you, or to say please and thank you, but there is something to gain. You gain respect and appreciation of others around you who will see you as a decent human being – and the internal gratification of knowing your a decent human being.
MacGyvering Your Life is a regular series looking at ways we can incorporate aspects of MacGyer’s values, ethics and mindset into our own lives. we encourage feedback and discussion via the comments section below and if you would like to contribute with your own article you can contact us here.