Where Has All The Courtesy Gone?

cour·te·sy  

/ˈkərtəsē/

Noun.

  1. The showing of politeness in one’s attitude & behaviour toward others.
  2. A polite speech or action, esp. one required by convention.

Synonyms. Politeness, civility, comity, urbanity, mannerliness

Firstly, this piece refers to no particular person in my life, this is simply a call to those that may not know some forms of courtesy, to (please) familiarize themselves with it. It may be due to the fact that I am an only child borne to a set of

parents that decided to have a kid later in life, thus they never coddled me or treated me like a baby. I didn’t have much of a curfew growing up, our household was a democracy, we sat and spoke with each other each evening over dinner about ideas, opinions, and were open to critiques. Yelling was rare, we simply agreed to disagree and kept it chuckin’. They allowed me to make my mistakes, but ensured that I learned from them. They rarely told me what to do, but they often made suggestions.I can’t relay how much I appreciated their approach at inadvertently teaching me vital lessons. Namely, how to be courteous.

Growing up in the constantly stressed and overly motivated region of America that is the tri-state, courtesy is often sidelined. Courtesy is (hopefully) taught in the home, at the dinner table, at a customer service job, in a situation that had you getting slapped by your grandparents, or simply by observing others. It is second nature to take advantage in our society, because selfishness is too accepted a tenet of American culture.

Let’s just face it; courtesy is a basic, but lost, human trait. It’s a learned behavior and people have simply disregarded its importance. When baby boomers encounter us millennials they expect us to be arrogant, discourteous, rude, entitled, opinionated, lazy, and expectant. As an entire generation, this is how we are thought of; it’s no wonder most of us are struggling to find employment!

Why would there be any trust in our ability to work hard and perform at one job long enough to reach the peak of that success ladder? It would behoove us, to begin perfecting our character traits, these include but are obviously not limited to: responsibility, punctuality, understanding, trustworthiness, honesty, humility, acceptance, and clearly, courtesy.45838-quotes-about-courtesy

I wanted this piece to be short and sweet, so I will simply leave you with circumstances that mandate courtesy. If you disagree with any, then best of luck in your future dealings with the human race.

  • Sending thank you notes after: an interview, receiving gifts, when someone does you a good turn, etc.
    • I.E. A friend opens their home to you for a week while your home is recovering from a major natural disaster (thank you Lori & Ray for this during Sandy)
  • “Open the door with your elbows” — This is a phrase for when you’ve been invited to someone’s home, party, whatever and the idea is that your hands are so full with gifts (wine, hors de vours, gift cards) that you can’t even open the door yourself.
  • When you are invited somewhere with someone and they drive, offer gas and toll money, even if you know that your money will be politely denied.
  • When you are invited on a trip somewhere as a guest, offer anything from money to cooking a dinner to show gratitude; a smile and verbal thank you can only get one so far (and guaranteed, you won’t be invited again).
  • When someone close to you is ill, send a note, flower, or visit them.
  • If someone at work always brings you a morning cup of joe, once in a while bring something for them; coffee, gift card to local cafe (something small but gets the point across).
  • Someone provides you with an opportunity (IE. employment); send a note or invite them to lunch/dinner, etc.
  • When invited to someones home during a holiday, offer to either cook, set up, wash dishes; be involved.
  • Hold the door open for the person behind you.

I’m hoping you get my basic gist here.

Be kind.

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