What happened to common courtesy?



Many people are, well, not to mince words, rude. These days it seems like all common courtesy has been tossed out the window and people treat each other like dirt.

It happens face-to-face, it happens online and it happens quite often on the road. There is no respect, no tolerance and no civility. I’m not sure when it became this way. Maybe it started with the advent of the Internet, e-mail and social media. Maybe it’s just poor upbringing.

No matter what brought on this ill-mannered apocalypse, it has to be stopped and put back into its Pandora’s Box.

Some of the samples of this behavior I’ve seen recently ranges across the board.

I’ve seen rude people in the stores, pushing their way past other shoppers, blocking aisles without a care and holding up other customers with long, drawn-out coupon sprees.

On the roads it’s the worst. I recently watched a car come up and tailgate me on a two lane road, finally pass me because doing the speed limit wasn’t good enough. Then watched the same driver pass 2-3 others cars. Arriving at the next traffic signal where he was held up long enough for myself and the others he’d passed to catch up. You sure got there quick, didn’t you pal?

Tailgating is the worst on local roads. Apparently the standard operating procedure is to pull up on someone’s bumper when they aren’t going your desired speed, and you just ride their backside until they move, speed up or turn. People are also taking more and more chances, pulling out from side roads at the last minute cutting other drivers off or scaring the heck out of them.

The internet is a haven for the mistreatment of others. I think many people don’t consider that when they tease, berate or say hurtful things to people online, it is just as bad if not worse than threatening someone like that to their face. It comes from the feeling of strength we all have when behind that veil of anonymity we have on the internet — like we can say or do anything without repercussion. But tell that to the person at the center of a scathing rant. Some people deserve it, others are just offering an opinion — we all need to stop being so sensitive and let people speak their minds without an unwarranted lashing back.

Then there’s just what I call poor upbringing. People up in the faces of other people reading them a riot act because they feel they have somehow been wronged or slighted. There was a time when I tolerated someone barking at me, but I don’t take it from anyone now. Too many years of turning the cheek will do that to you.

As I always say, if you want to tell someone you don’t like them or something they did, then tell them like a rational person. Let them speak. Hear them out. Be nice, as a man named Dalton once said, until it’s time to not be nice. ggould@mihomepaper.com

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