Often I just laugh at these actions. But, equally often, I get frustrated and upset. Why, I ask myself, do these people continue to behave in this way? Can they not see that what they are doing is not courteous and that they are offending others? Why do they not consider that there are other people around? Is it because they are busy people who live in crowded cities and have no time to think of others? Have they forgotten to practice courtesy? Let me describe some discourteous actions that I have observed. Please, after reading this post, share with us your views about discourteous actions and describe some other discourteous actions.

Action One

You are walking down a narrow passage and there are lots of people coming one way and going another. The person in front of you stops suddenly. You almost crash into this person. The person does not acknowledge his or her mistake. Nor does he or she apologise for causing you to physically tilt forward and lose your balance. You take a few minutes to get your senses back and to move on.

Action Two

The area you are in is crowded. People are rushing to get to their destination. There is a couple ahead of you walking slowly. No, they are walking very, very slowly. They have their arms around each other and they are feeding each other with popcorn or something else! I can’t get past as there are people on either side. Why do people not understand that there is a time and place for certain actions and that they should consider the needs and feelings of other people? Why do people eat as they walk? It is definitely not polite to eat as you are walking. Neither is it good for one’s digestive situation.

Action Three

You are at a pedestrian crossing. The lights change. You know you have to dash across the road quickly as the lights change fast. But there are people walking straight into you. Why? They are coming towards you very fast because, instead of walking in a straight line, they choose to walk across the road diagonally. So, inevitably, you will have to dodge to avoid bumping into them. This causes you to take more time to cross the street. Also, it makes it difficult for you to get across. You move from side to side and occasionally, you have to stop! If you are carrying bags or parcels, it is even more difficult to get across. I have seen signs at pedestrian crossings to indicate to people to cross in a straight line but many people will just ignore this.

Action Four

This is the action taken by people using their hand-phones. They will use their hand-phones as they are walking on the pavements. They could be talking on the phone or sending a text message or reading a text message or surfing the net. Do they have to text someone as they are walking down a crowded passage, crossing a street or along a narrow pathway or a busy pavement? Do they have to talk to someone on their hand-phone as they are walking? Can’t they stand aside and make their calls away from everyone and not be an obstruction to others?

There surely cannot be anyone who is so important that he or she needs to be on the hand-phone all the time. Also, when speaking on the hand-phone is it necessary to shout or speak loudly? I sometimes wonder if they want us to hear their conversation.

Action Five

You are standing in a queue. It could be at the supermarket or at the bus stop or the train station. The person behind you edges close to you. Each time you move forward, the person moves closer to you. He or she is practically breathing all over you. They fail to realize that there should a certain distance between each other.

Action Six

This usually involves a group of people. There may be five, six or more people in the group. They will stand in a group on a pavement and they will be talking to each other. They take no notice of you as you come up to them. You cannot get past as there are lots of people walking around. It takes you awhile to get past the group. All the group has to do is to move aside and not take up space on the crowded pavement.

Why Do People Behave In This Way?

I am sure you must have encountered some of these annoying actions. I really cannot understand why people have to behave in this way. Are these people doing what is most convenient for them? Do they do so because it is a way of demonstrating their authority and power over others? Were they not taught courtesy and consideration for others? Perhaps schools have to include a course on the basic rules of courtesy.

Do people living in busy societies adopt selfish attitudes? Are we so consumed with wanting things for ourselves, achieving and getting ahead that we fail to see how our actions can affect others negatively? Do we think that we are so important that we need to use our hand-phones all the time, be in constant contact with people and in the process annoy others? Should we only think of ourselves and concentrate on what we need and want all the time and forget about other people’s needs?

We should consider the words of Francis Bacon, “If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands but a continent that joins them.”

Be Courteous

Consideration and courtesy for others are important. Life is made so much more comfortable and gracious when we adopt polite behaviour and when we show respect for others. Courtesy and good manners affect others positively. They are the fundamental factors to develop a refined, elegant society.

Each of us can consciously work towards making our society more gracious and elegant. Tell yourself that you must be considerate to others and that you will, in all that you do, create a positive and pleasant experience for others. Good Manners and Courtesy cost nothing but they contribute to a happier society.

I leave you with this quotation by the author, Bryant McGill, “Courtesy is a silver lining around the dark clouds of civilization; it is the best part of refinement and in many ways, an act of heroic beauty in the vast gallery of man’s cruelty and baseness.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *