Courtesy – Excellence of manners or social conduct; polite behavior (from Dictionary.com) or…Polite behavior that shows respect for others (Merriam-Webster.com)
Being courteous is a particular behavior that is slowly falling by the wayside. As parents, we have tried to instill the art of being courteous in everything our children do and say. But every day, they come home and tell us about some discourteous action they witnessed. They tell us it is really hard to be polite when everyone they encounter throughout the day are just blundering, self-absorbed idiots. We (my family and I) have come up with a list of behaviors and things we have seen people do that just really, really irritates the snot out of us (I’m sure you have your own list of behaviors that really annoy you).
- People that interrupt conversations in progress with something they feel is so much more pressing and important.
- Walking away while the person they were conversing with is still talking.
- Barging into an office with the door closed, and not knocking.
- Not saying “Thank-you” when someone holds the door open.
- Not saying “Please” when asking for something, or ordering.
- Not flushing the toilet in a public restroom.
- Not flushing the used toilet seat cover in a public restroom and leaving it for someone else to deal with.
- Using the urinal right next to the only other man in the public restroom (My boys say that this is breaking guy-code).
- Men that stand naked in the gym locker-room for no reason at all (My boys tell me this happens all the time – I wouldn’t know).
- People that drive in the left-hand lane on the highway, very slowly, and then at the very last minute, cross over three lanes to get off on their exit on the right (this seems to be an amazingly prevalent behavior in California).
- People that look down at their cell phones while they are walking.
- High school students that take their time crossing the street while looking at their cell phones.
- People that talk loudly on their cell phones in a restaurant.
- People that talk loudly.
- Women that cackle really loudly when conversing one another.
- Swearing with every other word.
- Texting and looking at your cell phone in the middle of a movie in the theater.
- People that read a text while you are talking to them.
- People that litter.
- People that lie for no reason at all.
- People that bathe in cheap perfume.
- People that don’t bathe at all.
- Blocking the aisle in a grocery store with your cart and not moving over when it is quite apparent someone needs to get by.
- Writing a check in the express lane.
- Presenting invalid coupons to pay for groceries in the express check-out lane.
- Having quite obviously more than the items stated to be in the express check-out lane.
- Mothers of small children that say really therapeutic things to their children in loud voices so everyone will be so impressed with their incredible parenting skills.
- Not being kind and respectful of your elders.
- Ignoring your children when they are trying to get your attention over and over and over again.
- People that don’t use their indicators while driving and assume all other drivers are psychic and know exactly which way they are intending to go.
In a time when we are more connected, but yet more isolated, existing for the most part in our own self-created cyberspace cubicles, we still have to interact with one another occasionally. And so when we do have those short, fleeting encounters, we should try and treat each other politely and with respect. Let’s think about how we would like to be treated, and lead by example. As the general public, we are more than stressed out and frustrated by way the corporations and companies treat us indifferently, and with such little concern. It seems to me, we need to show them how it is done, and treat each other with kindness and a little courtesy. Small steps my friend, that’s what it is all about.
Feel free to add any behaviors you have encountered that you find are completely discourteous.