What happened to courtesy?

By Andrea Edl

The other day I was sitting at my desk getting ready to take on my homework load when my latte from earlier in the day caught up with me. So off to the lady’s room I went.

As I was taking care of business, someone walked in for the same purpose I did. Everything was normal up until this point.

She started talking.

I was confused for a short second until I realized she was talking to someone on her cell phone. And she was using the washroom at the same time.

Meanwhile, I was flabbergasted because I couldn’t figure out why someone would want another person to hear him or her answering nature’s call during a phone conversation, much less the flushing of the toilet.

This utterly appalled me.

The absolute absurdity of this incident led me to wonder what happened to common courtesy and decency these days.

In an article about common courtesy on www.nucifora.com, professional speaker Alf Nucifora said, “It seems that everywhere we turn we are confronted by incivility, bad manners and in-your-face aggressiveness.”

In another article from The Epoch Times Web site, Barbara Phillips remarks, “More and more I am noticing how rude, uncaring and inconsiderate our world is becoming.

I talk to people about it all the time, and we all agree: People are becoming more and more selfish and more and more unkind.”

Indecency in humanity is on the rise, and it shouldn’t be.

If we worked on some of the common issues we encounter every day, I think we’d quickly see an improvement.

For example, hold the door open for people if they’re following right behind you. Letting the door slam in someone’s face is absolutely heinous.

In turn, when someone holds the door open for you, thank him or her. They could have let the door slam just as you were about to walk through it, but they didn’t. The least you could do is thank them.

It only takes one breath folks, and that one breath could make a huge difference to the person who chose to be courteous to you.

Going back to the story I began with: Don’t talk on the cell phone when you’re using the washroom. It’s simply disgusting and disrespectful.

Simply tell the person you’ll call them back in five minutes. It’s only five minutes; they can wait. Almost no conversation is important enough to be held in the bathroom.

Another issue was brought to my attention by senior broadcast journalism major Kiarri Andrews, who said, “The biggest, most inconsiderate thing I can name would have to be smoking right on the other side of doors and poorly ventilated areas. I mean, come on – there is not a person alive who doesn’t know the effects of smoking. And it’s fine … but don’t crowd around the entrance/exit of a building … and create a London-thick fog that people have to walk through.”

Not everyone smokes. If people choose to smoke, they should do it someplace where it won’t bother those who don’t wish to smoke.

One final issue is the cleaning responsibilities where you live. Whether you live in a residence hall, apartment or house with your parents, you should contribute to keeping the dwelling livable and clean.

Everyone should have an equal part in the housekeeping chores. Don’t leave a pile of dishes for your roommate to take care of when they get home later. Don’t add something else to the already-stuffed trash can, knowing in the back of your mind your roommate will take it out if you don’t.

Divide up the chores, and take turns keeping the space you all share habitable. It’s not fair for one individual to do more work than another. Show respect for those you live with.

This is just a small selection of things we could all do to help improve the courtesy and decency around us every day. If we all took a step in the right direction, I believe we could definitely make a change in our society for the better.

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.