Saturday, November 26, 2005

Common Courtesy: A Sad State of Affairs

Why is common courtesy so uncommon?

My wife and I had this little discussion during the car ride home today. What has become of Toronto? I haven't been in Toronto long enough to cry about the good ole days -- and I don't think I would have noticed courtesy in the past. I notice it today however, and in noticing it, I notice the lack of it in general. This past week, like the weeks before, I encounter the uncourteous in my daily travels back and forth to work, on the TTC. Whether it's the people having loud conversations in total disregard for those around them -- or those in a mad rush to get onto the bus or subway, to get a seat. Either way, they're rude, pushy, and have a total lack of common courtesy. They are no different than those who don't make the extra effort to hold the door open for someone; or those that don't say thank you when the extra effort is made -- the world is not your doorstop folks. There are those that stare, smoke their cigarettes in front of doorways, call people names while still in earshot, don't let someone in their lane when driving; or the opposite, cut people off on the road ... and the list goes on. I'm sure you have many examples from your daily encounters.

Why? Why when courtesy is given, it is greeted with suspicion? What have we become?

This week, I encountered a few cases of courtesy, that made me notice how little effort it takes to be nice -- to be courteous. I can't help but think that such little acts could be the proverbial butterfly wings that have far reaching positive impacts. It takes little effort to say thank you. It takes little effort to hold the door open for someone. You won't get where you're going any sooner by cutting someone off on the road or by not letting them in, in front of you. To the gentleman that helped the mom take her baby and stroller off the bus at Yonge and Steeles -- thank you. To the few people that hung back a second to hold the doors open for me this week, thank you. To those that said thank you to me when I extended a bit of common courtesy, thank you.

To those who see no value in any of this -- why not? To the pregnant woman that I offered my subway seat to -- who very angrily refused to take it, and then seemed pissed at me for offering -- why?

1 comment:

  1. I reside in Ft Worth Texas and recently posted my own blog concerning the same experiences.

    I too am saddened by the lack of common courtesy. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone in your thoughts.


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