Like many of you, I headed for the mall the day after Christmas, hoping to take advantage of favorite retailers’ sales and markdowns. Holiday “tidings of comfort and joy” seemed to be a distant memory as gotta-get-there-first shoppers drove like maniacs to land parking spaces and pushy crowds flooded the center. It was survival of the fittest, and one thought circled my mind as I navigated my way through the elbowing horde and all-around discourteousness: Why can’t people be more civil?

I was particularly shocked at how badly customer service representatives were treated at stores. Why do certain shoppers feel entitled to be disrespectful, demanding and downright obnoxious?

Business expert Winn Claybaugh, author of Be Nice (Or Else!), has the answer: “Some people seem to have the attitude that some individuals were born to serve, and others were born to be served,” he writes. “It’s been my experience that those who’ve worked in a service capacity—in the hotel, restaurant, retail or travel industries—tend to have compassion and generosity for those who might be serving them.”

At Organic Authority, we believe in remembering your organic spirit, but you should extend this courtesy to the folks who strive to make your life easier. Claybaugh urges readers to “go overboard and make up for all the times you ignored all those wonderful, amazing, humble, talented individuals who’ve made your life easier through their service.” This means saying hello to your mail carrier, garbage collector, gardener, restaurant busboy and others who often go unnoticed. Remember to say “please” and “thank you.” They’ll appreciate the gesture, as being overlooked, ignored and treated as second-class citizens happens all too often.

Please make a new year’s resolution to, put it simply, be nice!