Sunday, January 16, 2011

Common Courtesy, Where Did it Go?

My parents weren’t big on teaching us manners as we grew up. We learned our social graces from watching the behavior of others and treating others the way you would want them to treat you. I don’t know anything about what is in Emily Post’s book on manners. I don’t know what side of the dish the forks and spoons go. I don’t know if it is polite or not to be fashionably late if you are invited somewhere. I don’t know about how many days you have to wait before writing thanks you notes for gifts. But there are a few things I do know that I consider to be common courtesy.

If someone calls you on the phone and leaves a message, you should return the call in a reasonable amount of time. If you have an appointment to meet someone have the courtesy to call if you are going to be late or can’t make it and do not stand them up. If you tell someone you are going to do something for them, do it or tell them you changed your mind, don’t keep them waiting forever. If someone is walking out a door behind you, hold the door open for them. I can’t help but notice that there is less and less common courtesy everyday and it’s very disappointing the lack of respect and consideration that people have for other people’s feelings by not doing the right thing. It’s really all about consideration.

What brings this to my mind today is something specific that happened which still has me perplexed. I will never be able to figure people out. Even people that should know better, don’t. They leave you hanging or cut you off without warning or explanation and for no obvious reason.

I think I will try to make this a learning experience for myself and just try to be a little more mindful of how what I do or don’t do may affect others. I like to think I already do treat people with common courtesy, but maybe I can improve on it.

I wouldn’t want to make anyone feel like I am feeling right now.

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