Uncommon Courtesy

Yes, that is a photo of me from around 100 years ago. Back then, there was something referred to as "common courtesy" as in, "Don't stick your tongue out at that little boy. Show some common courtesy."

I often wonder where common courtesy, or any courtesy, has disappeared to. When did it become the norm to conduct a discussion in loud, argumentative tones? Have we become so accustomed to conversing digitally we have forgotten the art of conversation?

It seems like a quaint idea from another era to sit down around the dinner table and talk about politics, or philosophy, or just "what I did today," instead of texting our friends. In fact, even the idea of the whole family gathering to have a meal together seems obsolete.

When did we lose sight of the truth that we are all in this together? We need to look out for one another, not point fingers and scream vile epithets. If you have a point to make, do it with civility. Put your arguments forward intelligently, even if the other guy is screaming in your face. Eventually, he'll get the idea and maybe you can even have a real exchange of ideas; come to an understanding.

I came of age in the 60s so I am not a stranger to confrontation based on diverse political beliefs, but there were enough people around at that time who sincerely wanted to discuss our differences that somehow we got through it. Maybe we can do it again. Corny as it sounds, can we maybe go back to showing each other a little common courtesy?

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