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The Courtesy Experiment

For the past few weeks I have noticed a disheartening trend.  More and more people seem to be complaining about the lack of common courtesy in today’s society.  Too many Facebook posts read something like, “Couldn’t the cashier be bothered to look up and acknowledge my existence?”  Or, “What happened to customer service?”  I can count on two hands how many of my friends have decided to no longer patronize businesses because the salespeople, or even worse, the owners of said businesses, are rude to them or other customers.

Road rage.  Colorful hand gestures.  The occasional roadside stabbing or shooting (we’ve had both in LA in past few months).  People walking with their heads down.  No one opening the door or holding the elevator.  Cell phone interruptions in the middle of Sunday services.  Blank faced, fast paced people scurrying down the street.  What a total bummer.

In my opinion, the question to ask isn’t so much, “What happened to common courtesy?”  but, “How can we bring it back?”  Thus comes my experiment.  It’s not so much an experiment as it is a challenge to everyone who is tired of rude and way past unkind and unfriendly.  It’s a call to action.  So, if you’re ready, here it is…

  • Walk with your head up.
  • Smile at people.
  • Heck, smile, make eye contact and say “hi” or “good morning, afternoon, etc,.”
  • Hold the door open for people.
  • Hold the elevator.
  • Let people pull out in front of you.
  • Back away so that someone else can merge into a lane.
  • Don’t rush pedestrians through the cross walk by roaring your engine or inching into the cross walk.
  • If someone shoots you the bird for accidentally cutting him off, wave back and smile.

Do it for a week.  See if it makes a difference.  I bet that life will seem a bit happier and less stressful.  We all want other people to be courtesy.  We all want other people to be polite. The movement, however, needs to begin somewhere.  Somebody has to go first.   Why not make it you?  Happy waving!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

smartypantzed September 25, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Really? I need a better proofreader “courteous” not “courtesy.” At least I spelled it correctly!


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