ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Quality of Life & Wellness

Lifestyle Choices: The Lost Art of Courtesy

Updated on August 12, 2013
There are endless opportunities to be courteous out there.
There are endless opportunities to be courteous out there. | Source
The most courteous person I know.
The most courteous person I know. | Source
I learned courtesy at an early age from my parents.
I learned courtesy at an early age from my parents. | Source

I had a strange thing happen to me the other night. I needed to make a quick run to the neighborhood Mom& Pop (store to those not living in the United States) and as I was approaching the front door so too was a young woman in her early twenties. She smiled, I smiled (that in itself was strange, having someone smile at me in public) and as I went to open the door for her she scooted in front of me and held it open for me! Can you say OMG?

I was so astounded that I couldn’t wait to tell Bev about it when I got home and God bless Bev, she understood immediately why I was so excited. I had just witnessed someone practicing the Lost Art of Courtesy! What a precious gift that young woman gave me. If we value the worth of something, like gold, by its supply and demand factor, then that act of courtesy was easily worth thousands of dollars for courteousness is in high demand and in very short supply.

Why is that? What has happened to courtesy in the United States? I can’t ask that question for other parts of the world because I have never been abroad but I most certainly can ask it of citizens in my own country. What has happened to common courtesy?

A TRIP BACK IN TIME

The son of Dale L. Holland was raised to be courteous. There was no choice in the matter and certainly no discussion about the pros and cons. Little Billy Holland was going to be a courteous human being and that’s all there was to say about that matter.

I was taught to say thank you and please, not only at home but also when out in public. I was taught to hold the door open for someone when entering a building and I was taught to say excuse me if I accidentally bumped into someone. The education seemed to be overwhelming at times as I was expected to smile at strangers and have a friendly word to say to others and it was explained quite clearly to me that if I expected people to listen to me then the least I could do was listen, really listen, to them.

Lending a helping hand was a biggie for my parents. If I saw someone struggling in a parking lot with packages it was my responsibility to offer to help them and yes, if a little old lady needed help crossing the street that was my responsibility as well. A sense of community was pounded into my brain, the concept that we are all in this together and we are only as strong as our weakest link.

Be kind to others, lend a helping hand to others, not because you think you might get something in return but because that is what human beings should do for each other.

Those lessons and many others were taught to me by my parents and other relatives and I admit, early on I couldn’t understand why they made it such a big deal. Of course, as I got older they were more than happy to explain it to me. My dad, especially, would talk to me about respect for others, that respect should be given to my elders because they had paid their dues and I hadn’t, but also respect should be given simply because a human being deserved respect and I certainly was no better than anyone else.

I asked my dad once….what about me? Who is going to be courteous to me? Who is going to show me respect? The answer was a simple one: we do not give respect and act courteous because we expect reciprocity. We do those things because one, it makes us feel good and two, because the Law of Karma Is in play. Karma I asked? What the heck is Karma? Dad simply said what goes around comes around and I would have to live a bit longer in order to see the results of Karma.

NOW I HAVE DEFINITELY LIVED A BIT LONGER

So yes, now, today, I understand. What goes around comes around and it definitely applies to the subject of courtesy. Before I get into that, though, let me ask you this: why is courtesy in such short supply in this country? What happened to the lessons we learned as children? When did it become alright to quit saying please and thank you? When did rudeness become acceptable? When did we decide that boorish behavior was okay?

Do you know how many times I have purchased something at a store and the clerk has not even said thank you to me for the purchase? Do you know how many times I have held a door open for someone and they haven’t said anything in return or how many times someone has gone in ahead of me and let the door close before I got to it? Do you know how many times I have seen people laugh at the homeless or make rude remarks to them and how many times I have had teenagers push by me to get somewhere just a few seconds faster?

When did this become acceptable behavior? Why has it become acceptable behavior?

I’m sure the reasons are numerous and I doubt seriously that I can name them all. I have no doubt that part of the answer lies in the amount of problems that people have bearing down on them. It seems the economy is designed nowadays so that the middle class or heaven forbid the lower classes will never make ends meet and will always be living paycheck to paycheck. I’m sure those economic struggles have something to do with the grumpy moods and lack of civility.

I’m sure there are other sociological reasons from an increase in dysfunctional families to the lack of supervision and proper parenting to the negative influence of the media. If you need an excuse it is never hard to find one and if you need an explanation as an excuse you need not search for long.

However…….

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

The main problem with excuses is that they diminish responsibility. If we can start from the very basic premise that we would all like to be treated with respect and if we further state that a proper moral compass is to treat others as we would want to be treated then we can only draw one conclusion: we should be courteous to others simply because we would like others to be courteous to us….because it is the right thing to do.

As with all “right things to do” we should do them because they are….are you ready for it….because they are right. I don’t know about you but I like doing nice things for others because it makes me feel good inside. I like being courteous because it makes me a little bit closer to being the type of person I want to be.

I also like being courteous because, as I earlier stated, I believe in karma and I believe that if I treat others with respect and courtesy that eventually it will all come back around and I will be treated in a like manner AND good things will happen to me because I lived a loving life.

Listen, we have serious problems in the world today. We have “HOLY CRAP” problems in the world today and they don’t seem to be getting any better. At times I think the entire moral fiber of our civilization is disappearing and I wonder, in my weaker moments, how it is all going to turn around and get better.

That’s when the words of my dad come back to me. That is when I realize that the only possible solution has to be love. Each one of us has to change this world. Each one of us has to accept a bit of responsibility and step up and be the person we were born to be.

Courtesy….respect….compassion….love of others….these all have to start with me. I cannot stand on the sidelines and piss and moan about the state of the world if I am not willing to step up and show my humanity. My parents were absolutely correct. I am not courteous because I expect something in return. I am courteous because I should be as a member of this species. I do not treat others with respect because there is a reward waiting for me. I do it because I should as a member of this race.

If it does not start with me then who will it start with? If I am not willing then I should have no expectations of others.

I challenge each one of you reading this to do one extra courteous act today, one seemingly insignificant act of kindness with no hope of being repaid. Say thank you and please more often; help others more often. Be grateful and loving and compassionate and…….be human!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

A related hub by my friend Vidya from India:

http://vidyamallar.hubpages.com/hub/Karma-or-Duty-An-Important-Human-Value

For my Lifestyle Choices book on Kindle please see:

http://www.amazon.com/Lifestyle-Choices-ebook/dp/B007ZV9G2U/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336064586&sr=1-3

For more Lifestyle Choices hubs please go to:

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Saying-Goodbye-To-A-Life-That-Wasnt-Working

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-Its-All-About-Perspective

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-Becoming-The-Man-I-Want-To-Be

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-Making-A-Difference

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Raci, I, too, saw it while teaching and it is unacceptable! Thank you for adding to the conversation.

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      i agree with you on that Bill, that the people nowadays hardly give respect to others...as a teacher i am aghast with the way my students deal with their teachers, as if they are just nothing...yes, that goes back to parental guidance...

      this is a great hub...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No, Jacope, you are not the only one. Yesterday Bev straightened the shelf at the check out aisle while we waited to be checked out. And I love her for it.

      Courtesy seems to be a dying character trait; I'm glad there are people like you who still understand the importance of it. Thank you for the visit and the great comment.

    • jacope profile image

      jacope 5 years ago from Missoula, MT

      Thank you! I'm also glad to hear that I'm not the only one who takes grocery carts back into the store so the employees don't have to, especially when it's close to closing time and nasty out. I'm only 28 but I was also raised to be polite and courteous. My 5 year old daughter will race to the door when we go somewhere because she wants to hold it open for people. When I worked at Barnes & Noble I would make it a point to hold the door open if someone was coming behind me, even if I was running late. About 3/4 of the time the people would thank me. Some who didn't thank me would hold the inside door open for me though so I guess that counted too. It's amazing how many rude and just plain nasty people there are getting to be. On of the reasons I was happy when I got the head cashier position there was that I didn't have to pick up after everyone all the time. It wasn't uncommon to have to put away stacks of 15-20 books and magazines a dozen times throughout the day. LOL My mom still laughs at me when I'm at a store and I have to put things back where they belong because someone else just set them down where ever and I don't even work there. Although she does the same. Unfortunately common sense and common courtesy are no longer common. I don't think it's as bad here in Montana as it is other places, but it seems to be spreading like the plague.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poet, thank you very much! I appreciate you taking the time to read.

    • profile image

      poeticlove1on1 5 years ago

      this is amazing, uplifting and many other great things and you are so right.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, sometimes I think I sound like some old man sitting on a park bench complaining about all the young people. But it's not just the young...there seems to be an underlying current of rudeness that has infected quite a large portion of the populace and that bothers me.

      Anyway, thank you my friend!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      My brothers and I were brought up to show respect as you speak of and personally I never even questioned it. Thankfully my son has those same manners instilled and I see no one like him that young today that says yes ma'am and shows courtesy. It has changed and seems you never go out that people are not rude in some way.

      Great hub. This needed to be said. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, it seems to me it would just be common sense but alas, that is not the case. I will continue to hold doors and hope for the best. Thank you dear lady!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Billy same here I was raised to hold doors and say thank you and help someone that needs help.. If I was not respectful I would be punished.. this is a great hub.. as usual my friend.. sharing

      Debbie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Tom! If only for sure! Thanks for taking the challenge. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 5 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      If only courtesy were as common as thought provoking articles by billybuc!

      Thank you, and I accept your challenge!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad Natasha because I meant it. I do not know you...probably will never meet you...but your true character comes through this medium and I know I am right about you. Please do not change who you are; this world needs more kindness and compassion in it.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Wow - thank you! That just made my day, truly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, I was showing my love, Bev, your website because I wanted her to see your lovely smile. She looked at your picture and said, and I am not making this up, "she just looks like a sweet, caring human being." You radiate kindness and that is a gift my dear.

      Thank you for being who you are.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Till, I am not ready to give up yet. I think every movement starts with one act of kindness and it spreads from there. I will do my part as I know you will do yours and we'll see if we can't turn this thing around.

      Thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sgbrown, I have encountered the same thing. I once owned a convenience grocery store and people would come from miles around to buy at our store because they said that at our store they were treated with respect like we really cared about them. It is such an easy thing to do and yet....

      Thank you for taking the time to comment; I appreciate you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Baking, I can only imagine what it must be like where you work. Give rude people some liquor and turn them loose in a loud environment (where they think they are entitled to be rude) and you have a recipe for ugliness of the soul.

      I raised my son the same way; he is now twenty-seven and I am proud of the man he is. He is respectful to a point but if faced with dis-courteous behavior he has no qualms about calling the person on their behavior.

      Well my dear, maybe we can change this one person at a time.

      Thank you very much!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, I have been out of teaching now for two years but towards the end of my career I definitely saw it. If a student was passing me in the hall and did not acknowledge me I would stop them, look right in their face and say good morning and force them to acknowledge my existence. This is a big point for me; we have to return to treating others with respect or as a society we are headed down a very bleak one way street.

      Thank you so much and best of luck in your teaching endeavors.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, your comment is right on....this should be automatically remembered....and yet, sadly, it is not only not remembered but seemingly never taught at a young age. Well, my dear, I will not change and I know you won't, so we will move on from that starting point.

      Blessings and peace to you always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, as you pointed out, this is a detour from the way we were raised and it seems to spread out and grow in society until courtesy is something that you rarely see. It has to stop and only we can stop it. I refuse to let others change the way I was raised because in this case I know I am right.

      Thank you my dear and may you find peace and happiness at every turn in your life.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DS, I had someone else echo your words, that courtesy is a sign of weakness. I had never heard it said that way until just recently but sadly I can see that thought process in the way people treat each other. I don't understand it but I know it is true.

      Thank you my friend; let us keep being courteous and change this one person at a time.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peanut, is that really you? How lovely that you have returned. Send me an email please and tell me all about life as you see it.

      I do believe this break down in courtesy starts at home; for whatever reason children are not being raised to be courteous and that will have terrible consequences over time.

      So nice to hear from you my dear; you are in my thoughts.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Annie, it is you who inspires me and I thank you for it. Your words always create beauty in my world and leave me with hope for the future. If I allow myself to do so I can paint a rather bleak picture of days to come and I really don't want to do that. We need to turn this around somehow and it has to begin with each one of us.

      Bev and I are going to start doing YouTube videos next week on this very subject.

      Thank you my dear friend; your words and true and filled with compassion and hope.

      bill

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Too true. It actually almost weirds me out now when someone is actually courteous because I don't expect it. How sad is that?

      Voted up and awesome - because it is.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Boy you hit the mother lode with this one Billy! Shows how much we miss the past! We all want to be treated with respect and the only way that happens as you so rightly put it is to have it start with us.

      I was brought up on respect and courtesy as were my children and now my grandchildren. My 18 year old grandson will stop by the house and ask if Grandpa needs help with anything...not many 18 year old's do that!

      When someone holds a door open for my I thank them profusely because I think that's the right thing to do and most of them say 'you're welcome'. If I see someone struggling to open or close a door, I immediately help them..it's just what you do.

      The world would certainly be a better place if we went back to EVERYONE being respectful and courteous!

      Voted up and awesome for its true and necessary content.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      It's true, courtesy and manners are disappearing and it's a shame. I had a waitress tell me one time that I was her favorite customer. When I asked her why she said it was because I always ask her "How are you", like I really mean it. It's such a simple thing to be nice and courteous to others and you never know how that can improve their day. Wonderful hub! Voted up and useful. Have a great day! :)

    • BakingBread-101 profile image

      BakingBread-101 5 years ago from Nevada

      I work in a casino and sadly, I all too often see complete, inexcuseable rudeness from the guests. It is so unfortunate that they do not have a command of the English language and cannot put five words together without seven expletives. They are shocked when I explain to them that the "MF" or "F" bombs are not acceptable. They don't understand when I suggest they do not need to blow smoke in the dealers face. We actually had to have it put into procedures to use people's names and thank them because so many do not. It is their upbringing. Sadly, too many parents have not done much of a job.

      My little girl's first words were, "Mama, please, thank you, and bless you." And although they came out of her mouth as "Mama, peas, ten coo, and bess you," they were still quite understandable. To this day, I am proud to say she uses her manners (most of the time). She tries hard to be respectful of adults . . .and when she isn't, well, I call her on it.

      Every night after dinner, she takes the plates to the kitchen to be helpful. When courtesy is instilled in children at a young age -- it stays with them.

      We need to teach our children (even if they're adults).

      Great hub Billy. Thank you for writing it. Maybe a few people will remember courtesy because of it.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      Great work Bill. We really do need to re-focus on the lost art of courtesy. Manners cost nothing. I totally agree.

      I have spent the last few weeks back teaching in high school. I find myself starting each lesson with teaching the kids basic manners.

      Just answering the register with a 'yes sir' has almost vanished to be replaced with grunts.

      I haven't been out of the classroom that long but things have definitely slipped, at least where I have been recently. (these are good schools BTW)

      Voted up and useful.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      A great hub Billy and it reinforces what should be automatically remembered.

      Great work as always and I'll email you.

      Take care to you and Bev.

      Eddy.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      An excellent hub. I too was taught as a child to be courtous and I find the manners of today quite appalling. Nobody seems to have either pride or a community spirit anymore.

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      I completely agree I was raised to always say please and thank you, and treat people with respect even if they don't do it back. Sadly enough it is more and more common that I don't receive it back. People treat courtesy as a form of weakness, well I feel just the opposite disrespect is the weakness. Great hub. At Peanutritious, that is the same response I receive for my mannerisms, even from friends and distant family.

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      lack of courtesy is a real sticking point with me. I despise the rudeness in today's society. I hate it when holding a door open for someone, I don't get a response, never mind a thank you. I always say 'don't mention it' loud enough for the person to hear in a hope that they'll realise how rude they've been. I doubt they're remotely bothered. children don't seem to have good manners drummed into them anymore. Possibly, their parents have no manners either. people always seem surprised at my politeness as if it's out of the ordinary. sadly nowadays, it is.

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 5 years ago from Australia

      Unfortunately respect and courtesy are sadly dwindling in our country also, with the likes of road rage and bullying at an all time high - why?? I believe sometime between those days when you and I and most of society grew up with respect being second nature, and now - the 'us' society - who helped each other out as a matter of course, became the 'me' society. The 'me' society believe it is their right to always be the first or the best or the loudest or the wealthiest or the most popular - at all costs!! The 'me' society disrespect their parents, their teachers, their peers and anyone who stands in their way. As you say there are so many contributing factors and to me, greed, materialism and the glorification of an artificial utopia based on having - wealth, beauty, material objects that give one a false sense of being superior is responsible for creating the 'me' society.

      The 'me' society is based on greed. The 'us' society is based on love.

      Your article is excellent, Bill and I will take on your challenge enthusiastically. Let's work towards recreating an 'us' society where love is the common thread that binds us together, not greed which only ever separates!!

      All my votes to you, my inspiring friend, and my best wishes and sharing as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra, I have worked quite a bit of retail and I echo your words...for the clerks AND the customers. I think I will be happy if I never have to work retail again. Thank you dear friend!

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      I am so glad you wrote this! I work in customer service. I ish I could post this in the breakroom for employees to read. I wish I could give it to the customers too! Very important values of yours shared. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lady, I do well thank you! I love the story of the men getting on the lift first to make sure it is safe. Where have those days gone? I'd settle for a simple thank you when I hand a clerk my money.

      Thank you my dear for stopping by.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Is there room left for me to comment as you have had so many? So nice, but such a topic would get any polite person going!

      My daughter at six months pregnant, stood on a train for two hours recently as there were no spare seats. Had I been with her I would have spoken up to one of the MANY teenagers, men sitting to be more polite.

      Just a flip side to manners, in Africa (South Africa) where I am at the moment, the men step into a lift firstly to show the women that it is safe to also enter.

      Yes, sadly the days of manners are fast becoming a thing of the past.

      So, billy, how do you do? "THANK YOU" for a nice read!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea, you are so kind! Thank you! If there is karma, and I believe there is, then you will be rewarded a thousand times for being such a kind, loving person.

      Peace and blessings to you always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Christy, for being so faithful in your following. I really appreciate you.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Billybuc: Thank you for this great write! I am a HUGE believer in Karma, I totally believe in its law and I have witnessed over and over that what goes around DOES come around. Whatever we put out there DOES boomerang back...maybe not right away, but eventually karma catches up with a person.

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting!~

      You hit the nail on the head when you wrote that doing nice things for others makes us feel better inside. YES, each one of us has to change this world, accept responsibility and be the person we were meant to be.

      You are such an inspiration. You should take all your hubs and make them chapters of another book. No kidding! It would be a masterpiece on the art of living!

      BLESSINGS, SPARKLEA :)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Bill, it is so rare for someone to open the door for someone else these days. Especially a younger person, as happened to you! I try to have courtesy for others but I do know that I am in the minority with people my age. This is a great hub topic!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Star, yes, I see where that could be the case. :)

    • profile image

      Starmom41 5 years ago

      the catch is while it's tempting to 'call them on it,' when rudeness is a way of life people think -we're- the weird ones

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Moonlake, in a very warped way I'm glad it isn't just me that is seeing rudeness. I guess misery loves company. :) Thank you for sharing those moments. I simply won't stand for rudeness and I call people on it when it happens. I'll probably get shot one day. :)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      I sure understand what you are talking about here are my experiences for the week. I saw two women with bad manners yesterday. While at McDonalds my friends told a lady to go ahead of us. The woman never said "Thank you." She also acted kind of snobby to us. On the other hand the young girl at the counter was very nice. She ask us if we were out for a day of shopping and carried on a nice conversation.

      We went to dress barn, both my friends needed a dress for weddings. The sales girl came over, I told her my friend was looking for a dress but I was looking for nothing just along to help. She than ask my friends their names with me standing right there and not once ask me my name. Made it a point to ignore me. My friends even noticed it. She dropped me like a hot potato.

      I saw an old man in Home Depot when I was buying my flowers he was having the clerk get his flowers. When the clerk pulled out the wrong flowers this old man started to scream at the clerk. It was awful. The clerk started to say I'm sorry, I'm sorry than the old guy calmed down.

      Enjoyed reading your hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yep, it all begins at home. Thank you Star!

    • profile image

      Starmom41 5 years ago

      "upbringing"- yes, that was the word I was looking for- thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Starmom, that is a fascinating perspective....a sign of weakness...says a lot about the upbringing of that person, doesn't it? Thank you for that great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peggy! I appreciate you sharing and I'm all for getting the word out there.

    • profile image

      Starmom41 5 years ago

      interesting hub- but from my experiences, region is as important as era, if not more so. I've dealt with middle-agers+ who 'weren't brought up to know anything;' one even said "manners are a sign of weakness." I've actually been blasted with major negativity because basic courtesy & manners are a part of my nature-- "thank you," "please," "excuse me," holding doors open for people, etc.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Obviously we were reared in the same era and just about everyone was taught the importance of courtesy back then. There is really no good excuse for it not being taught in the same manner today irrespective of circumstances. It doesn't cost a dime and yet is worth a fortune! Good hub! Voted up, useful and will share with my followers + tweet. Let's get the word out there!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sue! I hope you are right, that there are many more out there. Maybe they are just hiding in Olympia! :) I appreciate you brightening my day with your comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MelChi, it is the same here; driving in particular seems to bring the worst out of people. There seems to be a great deal of repressed anger in the world today and it is sad. Thank you so much for following.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Hi Billy,

      I am respectful and courteous to others because it is the right thing to do and of course it makes me feel good.

      I think there are many more respectful people out there like that young lady who opened the door for you. The media always gives attention to negative things.

      My mother is 80 years old and she is always telling me how nice people are(young and old) whether it is offering her a seat on the bus or helping her with her groceries. She always says thank you. She says she cannot stand it when someone doesn't thank someone for being courteous. She doesn't have a sense of entitlement that because she is a senior that someone should give her a seat on the bus.

      Voted up and away!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Bill - I agree with you 100%. Courtesy in South Africa seems to have vanished as well. Especially with drivers. People are so grumpy behind the wheel, they push in front of you and don't even bother saying (or waving) a "thank you" when you let them in front of you. It's very sad. Great hub! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No it isn't, B. Malin, and I appreciate your words. There are times I think I'm outdated with my views. :)

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      There are times, I think Courtesy as Died and gone to Heaven...and other times, it becomes an Amazing Experience! Good Hub on a Timely subject with lots of Wonderful Comments Billbuc...Common Curtesy is never outdated!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles you are so right! It starts at home and then, hopefully, branches out. Thank you my friend.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      really good read Billybuc. I have believed for some time now, we must be the change we want to see and more courtesy in the world will be a good change. Vote up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! I agree completely that it all starts with me; I can't say anything about anyone else if I'm not willing to step up and do the work.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I think a hub on courtesy is so appropriate and an experience with a courteous young lady is rewarding. I decided some years back that I was going to treat people the way I want to be treated, and the result has been more smiles, more friendly conversation and I seldom have a problem with anyone. Awesome and useful hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Faith. I have often heard about southern manners and courtesy but never had the chance to avail myself of them. I know for a fact it is disappearing in the north but I have hope....we always have hope, don't we?

      Thank you my friend!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      You are a fine man, billybuc! Here in the South, courtesy is still taught, but it is not as it once was that is for sure. Your photos are great, especially the one of the young billybuc, who I can picture in my mind being so very courteous to others! Thank you very much, kind sir, for writing on this important issue for today's society. Voted Way Up. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow young lady, what a pleasant surprise! How have you been? I thought you fell off the map..I don't think I've seen you on Facebook either! Hope you are well and I'm very happy to see you back. Thanks for a comment I happen to believe in and agree with.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      Hi, Billy! Well written and interesting topic. Courtesy went the way of discipline - may i say that in mixed company? the sane and the insane? (lol) I predicted it years ago when my children were adolescents and young teenagers and spanking or holding them responsible for their actions was frowned upon - if not illegal - and harmful to their fragile egos..

      I agree with you and wish we could turn back to a time where respecting adults, having chores to do - and do properly..learning manners..and working for something we wanted - was just the norm..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I completely agree with you. Rudeness is a learned behavior and it begins at home and then festers and grows outward.

      It is always a pleasure to have you stop by. Thank you so much.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Sometimes rudeness begets rudeness. Usually I find that If I smile at someone they will smile back, not always but more often than not. I think it goes back to the person's childhood teaching. Children are not born to hate or show disrespect, It is a learned attribute. We have so much hate around the world. People judge others if they are different. If we all would observe 'The Golden Rule' ( Treat everyone the way we want to be treated ) All of the above would be nonexistent. Great hub Bill...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey and I hope one day to see it nurtured and restored in society.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      I think that courtesy is so very important--it needs to be nurtured not ignored--thank you for this hub on it and so very well-said!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teaches, I hope you are right. I am encouraged by your words and as always thankful for your friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, thank you my friend! I was blown away by the kindness of that young woman in the store. It had been so long since I had seen that...well, I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe we can turn it around!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I was recently impressed with the courtesy of some of my new students. They were so respectful of each other and teachers. It is refreshing... perhaps things are changing! Great hub topic and your views are encouraging us.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Bill, I can so relate to your experience. I feel wonderful when I get a smile back and also when someone is courteous enough to wait for me or hold my stuff. Gosh, gives me goose bumps and I feel that humanity is not dead, YET!

      Sure, karma is all about coming back to us. So, we ought to do the same for others that we want for ourselves. Good message indeed!

      voted up as usual with useful, interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Learning, I have no doubt that the folks in Australia are more courteous than those in the United States. I have lived here all my life and it is so obvious to me, the decay of common courtesy. Sad but all too true.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • Learningcurve101 profile image

      Learningcurve101 5 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this, and totally agree with your values about common courtesy. Although, being a kiwi living in Australia, i find that people in general are pretty well mannered, and not often do i notice a person who is rude (and i encounter a lot of people daily - working at a caf'e).

      For the most part, what i know of Americans, are the shows that dominate the tv. And it is obvious to me that they are very different to the culture i know well of New Zealanders and Australians.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again Keith! I love Lawrence's comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, although I agree with everything you wrote I'm still laughing. You are so right. Heaven help anyone dumb enough to be on the road at five p.m. on a workday, especially Fridays. It is a jungle out there as they all rush to go nowhere.

      I'm with you my friend!

      thank you

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      @ Bill: Haha! I knew we are on the same page on something! :) Courtesy, patience, and tolerance plays a huge role in positive Karma!

      @Lawrence: I could not agree with you more. It is like painting a picture: you can't just rush a realistic portrait of yourself, you have to be patient and tolerant of people and the times around you.

    • Lawrence Da-vid profile image

      Lawrence Da-vid 5 years ago

      Courtesy went over the hill along with patience, tolerance, and the advent of a mobile society. General populace cannot "wait" for anything. Everyone ahead of them either drives, walks or acts too slow for them. Their daily schedule is so full of mindless tasks, that they can't keep up with them. They have got to go...go....go. There's the exodus from home towns every weekend. Can't stay home. Just watch them at the end of the work day. Like a bullet shot out of a horses patudi. No one is exempt from the venom of these people. I just wonder what they would do, if they could not drive anymore. I do believe that some would attempt ending their lives because of the inability to gogogo.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That's amazing...write you up for being courteous??? What a sad commentary on today's world.

      It's a date; we'll have that lunch sooner or later! Looking forward to it!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I would love to spend a lunch and an afternoon; I'm sure it would be historical and rememorable! I felt so out of place in large towns. My bosses scoulded me for using "Yes, sir" "No, sir" "Yes, ma'am" and "No, ma'am." In fact, one b**ch threatened to write me up if I didn't stop. It was HARD not to be respectful like my military father/small town southern mom taught me. *sheesh* :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, I knew I liked you for a reason! Now I know why...you are courteous! :) Not sure the reasons why but it is definitely disappearing in our culture. I'm just going to keep doing my thing and hope for that Karma! Thank you Keith; you are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, it gives me hope for you and me and a few other Hubbers; I'm not sure about future generations. :) Great town you live in; I have seen that in quite a few small towns as a matter of fact but no way in the bigger population centers. People don't even make eye contact in the city. Sigh!

      Thanks Sis! One of these days we'll have to sit down for lunch and laugh our asses off.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Yep, I thought those things were all but dead, and then I found a small pocket of old fashion values in Small Town, North Dakota/Montana. It flows in the streets and you trip over it on the sidewalks. The teachers greet the students at the door and thank the parents for dropping off the children. No, I'm not smoking anything and I'm not dreaming. It took me a month after moving here from Daytona Beach, Florida to realize I wasn't transported to another planet...just another time in space and I like it. :) Beautiful hub, big brother. It gives me hope for the future generations. :)

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      I couldn't help but laugh when you said, "She knew why I was shocked...that woman practiced COURTESY!" because it's so true! Today, especially in America, we are all in a rush rush rush rush that we forget to show respect and courtesy to others. Everyday, when I'm going to class or going to the local convenient store for coffee, I always hold the door. Some times, when there's an elderly person in the store struggling with her bags, I would take upon myself to help them to the door and help them load their car. To be quite frank, there is more to just holding the door than being nice. What you do reflects who you are and how people will react to you. Since I practice common courtesy, I don't expect it in return; however, I do receive it every now and again because of how I portray myself to others. With that said, giving and receiving courteous acts definitely balances your Karma and you will actually start your day better :) Talking from experience!

      Great Hub bill, I voted up, interesting, and even funny because of how truthful it is.

      -KD

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vidya; I did have a wonderful upbringing by two very loving parents.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, it should be but amazingly it is not for many! Hooray for you for the way you helped that lady. That should be normal reflexive behavior for people but I can't tell you the number of times I have seen people turn the other way when someone needed help. Sigh!

      Thank you once again dear for being so loyal to this old man.

    • Vidya Mallar profile image

      Vidya Mallar 5 years ago from India

      Bill, this is the way you are here on hub pages so popular and friendly..

      Am proud of your father who reared you to be a great son who has all the moral values taught by him in practice in your life..

      And it's my greatest honor to be here commenting on your wonderful thoughts...

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks for bringing this basic act back into the forefront, Bill. You're right, people no longer have manners or show courtesy. As far as I'm concerned there is NO valid excuse for being discourteous to anyone! It should be an automatic reflex, just as is breathing.

      A few weeks ago I was at the grocery store. As I was walking through the parking lot, an elderly woman came out of the store with her cart full of cases of bottled water. (did the bag boy not ask her if she needed help out???? they ask me all the time!) She was quite frail and having a hard time pushing the cart. I walked over to her, asked her where her car was and proceeded to push the cart to her car. I then loaded each and every one into her trunk. She explained to me that she was caring for her ill (cancer) daughter and granddaughter and was doing the weekly shopping. It broke my heart! She was so appreciative and I left with a huge smile in my heart and on my face. Bless her heart.

      Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. And if that doesn't work, WWJD? What would Jesus do?

      My hat's off to you, Bill. Basic courtesy should be embedded into our cores.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vidya, you are so sweet! Thank you dear lady! I have no doubt because I have seen proof on Facebook that you live this philosophy. It is just one of the reasons I enjoy your friendship so much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, I want to believe you can choose to be courteous but I can't discount the possibility that it may be beyond the capabilities of some because of their circumstances. Too bad because it really does make you feel good. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Vidya Mallar profile image

      Vidya Mallar 5 years ago from India

      Your words "if I expected people to listen to me then the least I could do was listen, really listen, to them."

      You are such Billy that you have proved it always....

      Law of KARMA: "What you sow so shall you reap"

      is the simplest answer I can say Billy,

      "I don’t know about you but I like doing nice things for others because it makes me feel good inside. I like being courteous because it makes me a little bit closer to being the type of person I want to be"

      Precious words dear, I think the same way...

      Biiy, I don't have words to say about how great I feel reading this hub. This is what I always think, practice and preach.. This hub is just wonderful to create miracles in the readers....

      no words sufficient to compliments... God bless you for the person you are... Am honored to be your friend..

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I've run into folks from time to time who make everyone around them miserable. And I've thought, I'd hate to go through life having that effect on people everywhere I go. Then I realize, they probably have no idea that is how the world sees them.

      Then every once in a while I have an experience like you had and I just feel good. Those people have that effect wherever they go too. I want to be one of the second kind. Can you just decide to be one or the other or are there factors at play beyond our control?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I majored in baseball so I'm fine with your suggestion.

      I thought I was courteous but you should see Bev. She will take the empty grocery carts that are in the parking lot and she will wheel them to the store so the employees don't have to do it...she doesn't use a cart mind you...these are the carts others have used and just left in the middle of a parking space....that's my Bev and I love her.

      Hooray for you in the restaurant and I'm proud of you for not dumping water over the heads of the deadbeats. They would be wise not to return to that restaurant when you are out dining again. :)

      Thanks buddy and I agree with what you believe...persist and it spreads.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bill...Coming from a long line of "Courtesy & Manners" first and foremost....at ALL tmes. From generation to generation, the please, thank you, excuse me, & you're welcome drilling continues. I appreciate this and have always been grateful, as I firmly believe in the entire concept.

      Those who are lax in this area, simply do not understand the very basics of kindness and respect. Surely you can't go very far in life without the BASICS!

      Recently while having dinner out...I glanced over to notice a gentleman trying to open the door as he was manipulating a wheelchair. Between our table and the door, sat 12 people (4 at 3 different tables) I have no doubt they were even more aware than I was of the situation, because they were much closer. As in reflex I got up and made my way across the room and past the others to hold the door for this poor man. He and the woman smiled at me and gave me the "God Bless you"....as I began to return, I realized all 12 dead beats were looking at me with BLANK stares. YOU woud be proud of Miss Wiseass, bill....I BIT my tongue, but managed a look of "shame on you."....(hey, you didn't expect me to let it slide completely, did you?)....

      It all begins with us....and as we persist, it's catches on and spreads.....that's my belief. As for the younger generation who aren't being taught or encouraged in this manner...? Baseball bats work well! UP++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ali...LOL....that may be it! They simply were not accustomed to someone being nice and it completely threw them off. I know...it is hard at times...there are some people who simply do not want to be nice. Oh well, I won't let them have power over me.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and good luck with those neighbors.

    • alipuckett profile image

      alipuckett 5 years ago

      I always try to treat others the way I would want to be treated. However, it's becoming much harder these days. Here's an example: I share a driveway with my neighbors (who only recently moved in, and I've never met). The driveway is too narrow for 2 cars to fit at the same time. Over the weekend, I was leaving while the neighbor was arriving, so I tried to be courteous and pull off to the side to let them pass. As they passed, they had this stunned look on their faces and they stared me down hard. I thought, 'Well, that was strange', and I kept on driving. As I looked back in the rear view mirror, the driver had stuck his hand out the window and flipped me the finger! I have absolutely no idea why. I've never even seen these people before, so I'm certainly not on bad terms. Maybe my trying to courteous threw them for a loop?!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dexter, I think quite a few of us who were raised during a certain era were taught common courtesy; for whatever reason that is not done any longer and I, for one, would like to see it return. Thank you my friend and I owe you a visit.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      Hi Billybuc! I too was raised to be courteous. I am the one that holds doors open and helps elderly women in scooters at the grocery store.

      But I thought it was only me in which clerks failed to say thank you! Not to mention rude people letting doors close in front of me! It feels good to know that it isn't just me!

      Seriously, there is a loss of courtesy today. Even still, we should continue to be courteous and respectful. I really believe that our reward is coming!

      Great hub, Billybuc!