Thursday, January 28, 2016

Uncommon Courtesy

If you’re friends with me on Facebook you know one of the things I’m always harping on is the disappearance of common courtesy in this…I dunno…milennial era. People are so caught up in what’s going on everywhere but where they are at that they’ve become oblivious. Things like holding the door for someone or thanking someone for doing the same, bumping into a people and not even thinking of apologizing or neither acknowledging nor reciprocating on the “courtesy wave” when driving are becoming distant memories. The question is why. I have a few theories

The obvious elephant in the room is cell phones/smart phones. We’re all guilty to a point of “multitasking” in everyday life. Whether we’re chatting away on the phone itself, texting, status updating, reply reading, game playing or music listening we’re just so wrapped up in things that less then 15 years ago either didn’t exist or were not a major part of our lives (the fact that we sometimes do this while driving is even scarier). We’re so immersed in this mobile world we sometimes forget about the real life world with real life people

It could also just be societal. My parents were very, very strict with us as far as making sure we were courteous and polite to a fault. BUT they weren’t as strict as their parents were and I’m guessing many parents today aren’t as strict as their parents. It’s the law of diminishing returns (although this is conjecture as the large percentage of my friends and family have imparted the virtues of courtesy on their children). Of course this theory goes up in smoke when many of the oblivious ones are in fact my age or older and should know better

The last thought is one I’m kind of tiptoeing around as I don’t want to come off as xenophobic. Our great American melting pot has become even more and more diverse over the past 20 years. Maybe what we’ve come to expect as everyday normal polite and courteous is not as much a focus in other points of origin. I know after a lifetime of hearing that people in other countries think of Americans as rude and boorish I’ve been all but plowed over in the busy supermarket many times by folks I suspect were not born here (and by those I suspect were born here as well). Again, no hate here, just pointing out a maybe

Is there a solution? I don’t think so. I think it will get worse sadly. But we can try. And by “we” I mean those of us who know better. Those of use who grew up before mobile phones and Beats headphones. We need to set the example and end our phone conversations when someone is trying to communicate with or help you. We need to get our noses out of our phone and pay more attention to what going on around us. We need to mute our omnipresent music and listen to…everything else. We need pay more attention to those with us and less to those who aren’t. And for the love of God we need to concentrate on driving when we’re driving!!!

Take a minute and hold a door, let someone pull out in front of you, say please and thank you even when it seems unnecessary. I promise, these little details can make a big difference

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