More than a few times, my mom and I have had someone cut in front of us without any warning while we are driving, or have someone cut the line in front of us at a busy restaurant. It’s extremely annoying, and we often say, “Don’t they know about common courtesy?” Of course, it un-Biblical of us to judge others like that, but every so often we somehow end up doing it anyway. Has anything like that ever happened to you? It can be extremely frustrating, and you may think, “Well, I would never do something like that!” Think again. Though you may not skip lines or cut in front of oncoming traffic (which may not be an issue if you don’t drive), there are plenty of other things that are considered common courtesy that we overlook everyday.
What is common courtesy, exactly? I believe that everyone has a different opinion. Thus, the conclusion that you would draw from that is that I have my own opinion, which is very true. I believe that there is a big difference between common courtesy and actually courtesy. Common courtesy, to me, is the minimum courtesy a person is obliged to show (so it is understandable as to why it is frustrating when people skip even the most common of courtesies). I consider a courteous person to be someone who does not stick with the minimum, but is considerable and thoughtful enough to go beyond that. Unfortunately, there aren’t many people like that, and (sadly) I must admit I don’t always see that in myself.
A good thing to realize, though, is that when we exhibit even common courtesy we are making a good impression on those around us (just like the guy who skipped the line made a bad impression on us). And, even if you wanted desperately to, you won’t become that incredible, extremely courteous (and fictional) person I just described overnight. If you were in preschool and just starting to learn your alphabet, the teacher wouldn’t put War and Peace in front of you and say, “Read this to the class”. No, you would begin with the basics, perhaps with flashcards that tell you “A is for apple”.
In the same way, we have to begin with the basics. The next time you see the opportunity to be courteous, do so! You may feel like its no big deal. You may think, “What’s the point? No one I know is courteous. I might as well be rude, and no one will care.” But the thing is, even if no one you know is courteous, people will notice when you are, and they will appreciate it. The world may be an non-courteous place, but that doesn’t mean you have to be too.