Courtesy, a Lost Art

As a rule, I’d say the majority of people I run into are courteous and basically thoughtful. But, when you chance upon someone who is blatantly discourteous, it leaves you miffed and disappointed. I was in line to get gas at a local gas station. There was a young guy in front of me filling his car. A car pulled up in the adjacent lane and it just so happened that the driver was this young man’s friend. While their gas was being pumped, they were shooting the breeze and catching up life. Reasonable I think.

They both went inside to pay for their gas, so both lanes are waiting for them to come out and move on. Both drivers came out with a pop and stood outside the station, lit a cigarette and proceeded to chit-chat. Hey, isn’t it against the law to light up near a gas pump? It’s certainly dangerous! These arrogant dudes did not go back to their vehicles and drive off like a normal person would. Instead, they continued their conversation indifferent to the long line of people waiting for gas. When people started honking their horns, they gave everyone the finger and only then drove off. How were these kids raised?

When I looked up courteous in the dictionary, it means being polite, respectful, or considerate in manner, with synonyms: polite, well mannered, civil, respectful, well-behaved, well-bred, well-spoken and mannerly. To some, they are mere adjectives, but to many, they are a way of life.

Being courteous is not something that is difficult to practice, in fact, it should be second nature. Here are a few reminders on how can we more courteous to the people we meet on a daily basis?

♥ Let people merge into your lane.
♥ Don’t cut people off.
♥ Hold the door open for people.
♥ Say Please and Thank you.
♥ Smile and don’t be afraid to say hi.
♥ Apologize if you’re in the wrong.
♥ Don’t take up to stalls in a parking lot.
♥ Be kind and helpful to the elderly.
♥ Donate and be generous to those in need.
♥ Volunteer at an animal shelter.
♥ Respect public property.
♥ Stand up on public transportation and offer your seat to someone.
♥ Cook a meal for someone who is in need of kindness.

There are so many ways we can be courteous and respectful to all mankind, all animals and our environment. If we want to live in a world populated with courteous people, it all starts with us. Small gestures of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Even though our society still needs more practice, we can build each other up by being pleasant, gracious and cordial.


  • Courtesy and etiquette are a lost art; I wish more people would start teaching their children when they are young how to be kind, thoughtful and considerate of others. It’s not difficult! My sister and I had to take Etiquette and Comportment classes from the time we were 6 years told to when we turned 18 (different topics each time); it has paid off in our daily lives, our financial and social status, our careers, and our basic relationships. Its amazing how far it carries you through life!

    And what you described by your experience at the gas station, I have also had happen to me. It’s so frustrating… Thank you for the post!

  • I am a firm believer that technology has had a hand in the fall of everyday courtesy. I just spent a few days with a relative and there was never a please/thank-you, he could not hold a conversation outside of a few limited topics, and constantly had his face in his device, even when we driving through beautiful and new-to-him countryside in a foreign country. Arrrggh!!

  • I was giving change to a guy who was looking for some. My daughter, who was with me, did not. He was very rude to her.
    Last week, he was looking for change again. I did not give him any. I did not feel that I should encourage bad manners-needy or not.

  • Children should learn at a early age to be respectful & polite. Most people are polite but there are always a few in any crowd that aren’t !!

  • The rudeness in predisposed individuals today is definitely dialed up.. That being said I do not run into that very often. I had a road rage experience with my 2 sisters. Some guy followed us for miles tried to cut us off swore yelled & horrible nasty things. When my sister brought out her phone and filmed he left. My sister seen he had been following very close when she switched lanes due to a missed exit which scared him. And he took that route to get his revenge instead of slowing down next time. Very scary

  • The benefits of kindness and courtesy to yourself and others far outweigh the effects of rudeness. It’s always nice to see a smile when you hold the door open for someone.

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