I was born in the 60’s. With that said, I have a great appreciation for my upbringing. I thank my parents for teaching me good manners and courtesy. Their teachings were simple: Say please and thank you, respect your elders, give up a seat for someone else, listen when spoken to without interruption (this one I had a hard time with), and display good etiquette and proper manners. Simply put, be courteous to others.
There are still common courtesies that we all learn with the passage of time: like, respect for our co-workers, fellow drivers, fellow shoppers and neighbors. It’s is unfortunate, that some of these common courtesies have faded away. Seems like rudeness and a sense of me, me, me is inundating our society. Drivers are cutting people off, shoppers are pushing themselves in front of others and neighbors don’t even know each other.
Courtesy on the Road
It is so aggravating when a vehicle cuts you off on the road, you have to slam your breaks, and they keep going down the road. As you observe them, you notice that they continue this pattern as they fade in the distance. Meanwhile, you have items in your car that flew all around, maybe you spilled your coffee and you are upset over this driver’s actions. Has this happened to you? I am sure it has. How rude! I can remember driving in the 80’s in Florida. Slow drivers stayed on the right, blinkers were used, truckers dimmed their lights to let you know it was safe to pass and people waved at each other as a sign of appreciation. Where did courtesy go? Is life such a rush that we have to invade people’s space to get to where we are going in such a hurry? I don’t think it should be.
Courtesy at the Stores
In addition, there seems to be a common rudeness at the stores. People are so self-involved that they push their way through crowds, instead of saying, “Excuse me, may I get through.” Oh No! They just push their cart through, hit your heel, and keep going without even looking your way or nevertheless say, “I am sorry.” So, call me old-fashioned. I believe in courtesy in wherever I encounter. So, where did we go wrong? Is selfishness the new disease? I hope not. I believe that awareness may bring up a natural change in society that will change back to the good old-fashioned courtesies.
Can I Borrow a Cup of Sugar?
I remember my neighbors across the street and in the near vicinity, when I was growing up. They are part of my childhood memories. We would go to each other’s home and borrow a cup of sugar, or a glass of milk, or whatever our mom’s needed to complete a recipe. This wasn’t considered invasive, it was just part of life. Not only did we do this, but we would attend each other’s birthdays, weddings or special events. Our parents would meet to play cards, while we swam in the pool. These were the good old days. Now a days, some of us don’t even know our neighbors. Society has changed so much, that many of us don’t take the time to introduce ourselves. Maybe, it’s because we are not sure of who could be living next to us, or we are so self-involved that we don’t take the time to say hello to them. Either way, it’s a change in our lives that could be reverted.
Let us start an Avalanche of Courteous Acts
Change can begin with each of us. We can drive with courtesy, take time to say please and thank you and make a point of saying hello to our neighbors. I believe in chain reactions. It is never too late to begin a change for the good. It is never too late to begin an avalanche of courtesy. The same way that negativity has filtered through the years, positivity can do as well. I believe it can be done. I feel that society has hope for a better future. It all begins with each one of us. So, slow down, breathe the air around you, stop and smell the roses and while you are at it, practice courtesy with those around you. I will take my advice. Today, the avalanche of courtesy begins with me. Would you like to join?