Friday, April 10, 2015
I started this post earlier in the week, but it got ranty and you-kids-get-off-my-lawn pretty fast, so I stepped back and am trying again.
The simple fact is this: the title of this post is an oxymoron. Common courtesy is uncommon, largely because we exist in our own little bubble and don't bother to look up from our screens long enough to recognize how we are impacting those around us.
From the person who lets the door slam in your face when you are coming in right behind them to the guy who leans his seat all the way back for seven hours on a transatlantic flight (during the day, including dinner service) to the person who takes up two parking spaces in a crowded lot. From the weird practice of walking around in a grocery store listening to (bad) music...without head phones...to the neighbor who decides to hang some pictures at 7:30 on a Sunday morning.
To everyone reading this or picking up the common vibrations of these words I say this: practice a little courtesy today. Before you get ready to do something, think for a moment about how it might impact the people around you. Not in a cosmic, climate-changing, evolutionary way. In a very simple, right-here-right-now way. Put down your cell phone and engage with the world around you. Say please and thank you. Hold the door for someone. Let old people go first. Let mothers with children go first. Pick up something someone dropped. Put your dishes away after you eat.
It is ridiculously easy to do something nice. You don't even have to go out of your way or be inconvenienced. Let's take approximately zero seconds out of our day today (or this weekend if you can't spare zero seconds) to offer up a little courtesy to someone.
As Garrison Keillor says as he closes his show The Writer's Almanac: "Be well, do good work, and stay in touch."
As a common courtesy and to spread the love, please share this post on your various social networks. Maybe we can get something started today.