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 on life. Reasonable I think.

polite/rude sign

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 as 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 2 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.

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