What’s Happened to Common Courtesy?


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

Common Courtesy could be defined as:

A courteous act

A generous behavior

Acting politely

Behaving with consideration

Being kind to others

To demonstrate my concern for what has happened to common courtesy, I even found it defined using four letter words.

What has happened to common courtesy?

A couple of days ago, I was nearly run over in the store by a thirty-year-old mother and her two kids. No apology, no recognition, nothing.

Too often these days, this seems to be the prevailing behavior; the general attitude is "Me, me, me".

I’m 74 years old, I still open doors for the elderly, disabled and others. What’s happened to our courtesy and good manners?

Why does our society seem so angry?

We didn’t used to have:

Road rage

Work place shootings

School shootings

Kids beating other kids

Parents beating each other and their kids.

We used to wave to people on the road. Now, we give them a one finger salute. It’s not pretty.

Is it the economy?

The political evil in Washington?

Is it too many people?

Is it the proliferation of cell phones?

What’s happened?

I don’t know what has caused it. I do know it can be changed by one person at a time changing their behavior.


"It is difficult to find a courteous person today who isn’t trying to sell you something."

One of the things you can do, is to take a look at your anger. Who did it to you? Who made you mad?

Find out. Write a Resentment Inventory.

List everyone you blame for your life and everyone you resent. Who done you wrong? What did they do? Write it down. Then forgive every one of them, release them and let it go.

It’s simple say something like, "John, I no longer blame and resent you. I bless you; I release you."

Reexamine your list. Then make an amends to all the people you blame and resent.

Finally, release resentment and blame from your consciousness.


hen did you loss faith in mankind? When did you notice the world was an angry place?

I began noticing five or six years ago, and it has gotten worse. Where have our manners and kindliness gone?

Do we just not care?

Is it the war?

Is it the recession?

Is it the times?

Or what?

You may not be able to answer the questions but you can take positive action.


"Courtesy is a small act but it packs a mighty wallop."

I’ve decided to do something about my own anger and resentments. I practice the 15 Tips below and try to make my little corner of the world a better place.

Here’s how you can bring the Golden Rule back. You can help bring civility to our world.

15 things you can doTake a time daily to:

  1. Read something spiritual

  2. Meditate

  3. Write a grateful list

  4. Tell someone you love them

  5. Smile and wave at your neighbor

  6. Let someone in front of you on the drive to work

  7. Open a door for someone

  8. Smile at three people before noon

  9. Laugh at yourself at least once before the end of day

  10. Compliment someone

  11. Say "Thank you" to someone

  12. Make eye contact with people

  13. Keep your thoughts’ positive

  14. Clean up a drawer, a file, your garage, or closet

  15. Spend time with people you love

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Life is short but there should always be time for courtesy."

These 15 Tips will make you and those around you happier. If everyone just did this every day, the world would be a better place.

Perhaps someone else will see you do a kindness and decide to act nicer too, and it will cause a ripple effect.

Thomas Fuller:

"All doors open to courtesy."



"Courtesy should be a continuous action, not something to be turned on and off like a faucet."

Perhaps if you start, with the tips above, you’ll affect another person to do the same. They in turn may affect others and a whole ripple of good will and courtesy will spread out and make our society a nicer place.

Copyright © Wee Dilts 2010

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