The phrase “common courtesies” is among the most ironic in the human language; most would consider simple things such as holding a door for someone or saying hello instinctive, but in today’s society they are part of an endless list of uncommon courtesies.

There are hundreds of thoughtful actions that have been thrown by the wayside and all of them are important. Common courtesies are called that for a reason; they should be instinctive and natural, not requiring a second thought. However, there are three which have recently seemed to stand above the rest, three courtesies which, when ignored, are among the most irritating.

The first courtesy, and the one that is most frequently disregarded, is returning phone calls or texts. It would seem that returning a phone call or text is a natural thing to do, but when inspected more closely, people forget to do so more and more. It is an unnecessary nuisance when someone is trying to contact another person to talk or to ask a question and that person completely neglects to respond.

With the level of technology available today, it is simply unacceptable to be unable to get a hold of someone after he has missed you. Now, every once in a while a text will fail to go through or a family member will forget to leave a message, but overall it is only respectful to contact the person and address whatever was needed. Even more than respectful, it should be the natural thiing to do. If the person failing to respond were in need of an answer to a question he would expect others to be respectful and get back to him as quick as possible, so the same courtesy should be returned.

The other courtesy that has been discarded much more frequently as of late is leaving babies and toddlers at home when going to the movie theater. Nowadays there appears to be a significantly greater chance of having a crying child in a movie theater than there used to be. It is baffling why people would ever bring a small child to a movie theater knowing full-well they will be humiliated if the child goes into a crying fit.

Some raise the question as to whether or not it is okay to bring a child into the theater if the movie is intended for children, such as Toy Story 3. However, even in that case, children who are not capable of sitting quietly through a movie should not be brought to the theater. A perfect example is the recent movie Tangled.

Although it is a Disney movie intended for children, a large percentage of the audience is teenagers and adults who enjoy the movie as well. Even if the movie is geared towards kids, it is unfair for one unruly child to ruin it for everyone else.

What is even worse, though, is when the person refuses to remove the child from the theater and ruins that portion of the movie for the rest of the audience. Regardless of the situation, children who are not mature enough to sit quietly through a movie should not be brought along; if the parent is unable to find a babysitter or an older sibling has to let a younger sibling tag along, they should stay home instead of jeopardizing the movie for others.

The final courtesy most people could not care less about is having the correct amount of items when checking out at the grocery store. As a cashier, it never fails that at least once a day someone will completely disregard the 10 items or less sign and go through with a 10 minute order.

Going through the 10 items or less line is one of the rudest things a person can do for it shows blatant disregard for the interests of others. Every once in a while, it is an accident, but most of the time people show a complete lack of consideration for the others in line.

It is also rude to the cashiers as they have to deal with the rest of the angry customers. People always say they are in a rush, but, news flash, the world doesn’t revolve around whether or not they’re in a rush. Plus, them being in a rush is usually the consequence of their own laziness or unpreparedness; lack of planning on their part does not constitute an emergency on the part of the cashier or the individuals in the line’s.

Society needs to reevaluate these courtesies and make an effort to make them more common. They are not elaborate, routine-altering decisions that take substantial effort, just subtle nuances that make a huge difference. It does not take much effort to brighten someone’s day, but it takes significantly less to ruin it.

By admin

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