Common courtesy commonly neglected by society

IUS Horizon

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






At an early age in my childhood, my mother adamantly instilled the concept of common courtesy and manners into my daily behavior.

Not only was I a well-read child, but I was also courteous to my peers and the adults around me.

It has always been imperative I say thank you when given something or please when accompanied with a request.

Since I was raised by these values, I have always found it puzzling when I encounter someone who clearly never read “Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book” as a child or even as an adult.

My frustration with others’ lack of courtesy has become increasingly worse each time I enter a women’s restroom at IU Southeast and see someone was apparently never taught how to flush a toilet after using it.

Some may not think that flushing a toilet is mannerly, but I find it repulsive that it has never been a mandatory process in everyone’s toilet-using life. How have these women gone through life without someone explaining to them the offensiveness of their lack for common courtesy when they refuse to flush a toilet?

Another gesture that is often ignored, especially at IU Southeast, is some peoples’ inability to hold a door open for someone.

One may assume if another’s hands are full and they are unable to easily open the door for themselves, then the free-handed individual would graciously hold the door open for them.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

I never realized such an effortless but generous gesture as holding a door open for another was so difficult, but the countless occurrences where I have witnessed this gesture being neglected tell me otherwise.

Not only is this generous act often overlooked, but the capability to throw trash away into a proper trash receptacle seems to also be too much for some.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see litter strewn on the ground carelessly. This peeve is amplified when I actually observe someone toss their garbage anywhere that is not a designated trash can.

I assume most people understand someone else will have to eventually clean this mess up, and, yet, this is still a common action because some people simply do not care.

When brought to the basics, manners are all about possessing a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. Do people typically like to pick up others’ trash or have a door shut on them? Probably not.

By the way, no one wants to step in anyone’s already chewed gum on the sidewalk either.

That being said, no one wants to work out on a weight bench soaked in sweat by the previous user.

There are signs spread out around the gym for a reason, and I would think most gym-buffs would like to work out on a sanitized, sweat-free piece of equipment.

I understand everyone has been raised differently and what is acceptable in each household is diverse, but, in a public facility, there are common standards in place for everyone to abide.

For instance, one is expected to clean up after oneself, maintain a safe and clean environment and not act like a savage when eating, working out or participating in other activities.

As previously mentioned, most individuals learn the notion of manners by their parents. Sadly, it is unlikely for children to learn manners when they are not exposed to them.

Some parents seem to forget the significance of teaching their children to have a polite demeanor and the benefits these appealing qualities have on their children’s future.

Because I was raised to appreciate and employ courtesy, I have been blessed with a wonderful job in hospitality that would not have been available to me if I behaved like a rude animal.

For that matter, I find it frustrating when all occupations do not put their employees’ character and ability to provide excellent customer service as a No. 1 priority.

As great as it is going to a clothing store or restaurant where the worker is extremely discourteous and refuses to offer a sincere introduction or even a fake one, I would rather pass on the opportunity.

I am surprised a respectful disposition is not obligatory in every job where one must work with or around other people.

It is never too late to learn common courtesy or apply “The Golden Rule” in everyday life. If one would like someone to hold the door open for them as they struggle, that individual should be willing to help another.

If one would like to eat the last piece of pizza, be sure and politely ask if someone else would like it before inhaling a sixth piece.

Lastly, if one feels a cough or sneeze coming on, cover your mouth and nose. Some things should not be shared. And once someone sneezes or coughs, try to bless or excuse them politely. I think most people would benefit from this.

By COURTNEY MCKINLEY

Sports Editor

comckinl@imail.iu.edu