Archived Story

Where is the common courtesy?

Published 6:00am Saturday, January 28, 2012

Things are most certainly different today than they were 50 years ago in terms of the way people treat one another, but I’ve noticed recently that things are much different even from the way I was raised, and I’m only 24.

When I was checking out at the store this past week, I noticed an elderly gentleman who only had a few items in his hand. He walked up to the register about the same time as a middle-aged woman who had an entire cart full of items.

Common courtesy would be to let the man holding a few things in his hand go first so he didn’t have to wait 10 minutes while the woman unloaded her whole cart, dug through her coupons, separated out her WIC items and checked the price of several items before loading her cart back up and continuing on her way, but this woman didn’t think twice before pulling her cart in line ahead of the man.

Similarly, I notice all the time that when there is a long line of traffic, people nowadays would much rather turn their head and act like they don’t see you sitting there waiting to pull out, than to pause for five seconds and let you into the line of traffic.

Maybe it’s me, but I just don’t understand when it became acceptable to let common courtesy fall by the wayside?

I find myself being shocked when strangers hold the door open for me or actually let me pull out into that line of traffic or let me go ahead of them in the grocery line, and it just shouldn’t be shocking. It should be normal that people are just ice to one another.

There are many things about the time in which we live that I enjoy, like the advances in technology or the accessibility of information, but sometimes I wonder how nice it might have been to live in the 50s when people were polite and courteous and had manners and decency.

So many other “retro” things have become popular again, so here’s to hoping that common courtesy becomes trendy once more.

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