Drive Through Woes
What has happenened to simple, common courtesy? I’m a little more than perturbed about the lack of simple social graces in day to day life. As a mother of two, I’ve always felt it imperative to teach my children about courtesy. In my books, you let someone in front of you in the grocery store line if they only have one item and you have a cart load, and you also open doors for others, out of courtesy.
After an early morning soccer run, I decided stop at a drive through for a snack for J-man and I. The entrance to the drive through was rather confusing and with another car in front of me, I had to stop and back up so they could actually turn in. Of course I did back up and waited for the driver to successfully turn into the lane, however another driver pulled up in front of me, saw that I was waiting and just pushed through as soon as they had the chance. To quote Stephanie Tanner from Full House, “HOW RUDE!!”
The drive through then had others pull up behind this rather rude person who cut-in ahead of me, and nobody bothered to let me in. It seems that as a community, we have lost the art of practicing simple social graces. Would it have killed this person to actually let me in?
The Courtesy Call To Action
I take pride in the fact that my children are often complimented on their ability to be courteous. It takes work to build this character trait, and it only comes by learning from the actions modeled by others. So why is it so hard for many to offer a simple gesture of courtesy in day to day life? I believe that the foundations of courtesy have simply been lost in a world that is full of hurried lifestyles and constant competition.
It’s not a sign of weakness to step aside for another to pass, or to open a door for someone waiting to come through. But, this needs to be learned, and I feel that it’s simply not being prioritised as something that is necessary in today’s world of “me first.” So what can be done?
If you’ve been stirred by reading this post, I encourage you to stop and think the next time you are presented with the opportunity to extend a gracious gesture of courtesy. You may not be rewarded immediately, but there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that you’ve contributed to the cause of reinstituting this dying human art.
The Courtesy-Grace Model
We cannot expect courtesy and grace from others unless we model this ourselves. This comes from making the most of simple opportunities to extend courtesy to another, no matter if you’re pressed for time or not.
Extending courtesy takes a special kind of grace. Being gracious leads to being courteous. If we expect others to treat us with courtesy, then we too must be committed to doing the same. How can we expect the next generation to exude tolerance when we haven’t even mastered the art of extending courtesy and grace?
It takes strength and wisdom to apply this simple, yet often neglected character trait, however taking time to implement it in your daily life just may be a stepping stone to reconnecting with others, one random act of courtesy at a time.