Common Courtesy and Respect Essay

1386 Words Feb 13th, 2013 6 Pages
Where has our common courtesy and respect gone?

Lionel Wijesiri

"When music and courtesy are better understood and appreciated, there will be no war. (Confucius)

Most of us belonging to pre-Gen X (people who are 60+ of age) will agree that both young and not-so-young amongst us have become less considerate and more selfish than they used to be few decades ago. We know it through personal experience, and we know it through published studies.

By performing a kind act, one makes the world a slightly more pleasant place to live. It’s like that series of commercials where one person sees another person doing something inspired or heroic, and then at a later time makes a point of paying it forward. This happens again and again. It
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• They are only human – perhaps they’re simply having a bad day (or maybe the last customer was a jerk!) You don’t have to respond in kind. • Being boorish back is not going to improve the situation – in fact, it is far more likely to escalate it. Regardless of why someone else might be behaving badly – you don’t have to, too. Take the high road and – who knows? – you might even improve their mood by doing so!

I could list dozens of instances of discourteous behaviour that I’ve witnessed on a daily basis (and I bet you could to). Sadly, it shows up everywhere (including on most TV shows, and even in the interminable mud-slinging campaigns of our political ‘leaders’). When it happens, I’d love to be able to (respectfully) point it out and say ‘Enough already’ but it’s doubtful that would help (I’d probably just get the finger and a good tongue-lashing from the perpetrator).

Approach

Instead, I’ve taken a more proactive approach. I’ve upped my own anti-rudeness tactics. I now not only make being polite a habit, I go out of my way to find something nice to say to the people I encounter in my daily activities (with particular attention to those who’ve just been lambasted by some rude lout who apparently believes people who make minimum wage are somehow lesser beings than they are).

The result is really quite astonishing. I encourage

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