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Seems pretty self-explanatory to me. It doesn't cost anything (dollar-wise) to be polite. But politeness can "earn" much for you. Friendship, for instance, which can reap many rewards (monetary and otherwise). Politeness can open doors, and cause others to help you or at least be social with you who would not, if you were not polite.

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Q: What do you mean by politeness costs nothing and gains everything?
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