The Lost Art of Common Courtesy

Last night my husband and I got into a passionate discussion about the lost art of “common courtesy.”    He had been out of town all week and we were sharing how our week had gone, even though we talk daily when he travels.  Gary is in sales too, except he sells air pollution controls for utility and industrial boilers.  In the daily course of his work he makes many phone calls to prospects, current and past clients and other business people.  He and I have the same frustration regarding the high percentage of people that don’t bother to return a call, RSVP to a function or, for that matter, are consistently late for appointments.  Gary actually traveled out of state for an appointment only to learn when he arrived that they could’t meet for whatever reason.  Do you think they could have had the courtesy to call and cancel?  Of course not.  

More than anything, we are both puzzled by this phenomenon.  Why is common courtesy not common?  Understandably, there are times when we all simply forget, I’m  very guilty of that and so is he.  We’re human and find ourselves going in twelve different directions on a daily basis.  We were both raised to return phone calls, RSVP to invitations, write thank you notes for gifts received and show up to appointments on time, or at least call to say we’re running late.  Why?  Because people have value and we need to show respect for that through our actions.  I was told that when we ignore someone’s phone call we’re basically telling them they’re not important enough for us to take the time, it doesn’t matter that they called for a reason or simply wanted to say “Hi, how are you?”  When we ignore an RSVP we’re telling the hostess or host that they and their function isn’t worth our time.  Oh, and I’m not talking about those people who use Evite and send to their entire contact list...don’t even get me started on that one.  And last, my mom always said failing to say “thank you” when a kindness was given was the ultimate no no.  I really don’t believe we’re telling people those things when we ignore them, but in reality we are.  We need to recognize each other again.  We need to pull our faces away from our LCD screens or Iphones and IPads and get back to some personal touch.  Pick up the phone and return that call, chances are you’ll end up having a good conversation!  RSVP to that party and when you do, say “thanks for including me” even if you can’t attend.  And when someone gives you something or does a kindness for you, say thank you.  This isn’t rocket science, it’s just plain and simple common courtesy.
Photo from and Rain.jpg from Google Images

No comments:

Post a Comment