What has happened to common courtesy? It seems like people are in such a hurry these days that rudeness has become a way of life and they run down anyone who doesn’t go fast enough. I think we need to slow down and think beyond ourselves. Treat all people with respect and remember you’re not the center of the universe. Everyone would be a little happier if we observed these basic courtesies:
1. Say please, thank you and you’re welcome. We’re supposed to learn this lesson as little kids but too many of us forget.
2. Give someone a compliment. It will brighten his day.
3. Hold the door for someone, especially if she needs help but even if she’s capable of getting it herself.
5. Let someone go ahead of you in line.
6. Don’t gossip or say cruel things. It’s hurtful and unnecessary.
7. Call your parents just to tell them you’re thinking about them.
8. When someone dies, send a sympathy card to his family or friends. Say you’re sorry for their loss, if nothing else. DO NOT PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. Death can be tricky thing to handle, but not knowing what to say is not an excuse for remaining silent.
9. Write a thank-you note. I don’t know anyone who would prefer to get an e-mail instead of a hand-written card.
10. Treat someone else to a cup of coffee or lunch. It will remind her that you care.
Now a few rules for the road. Some of these are actual laws, and some are just good sense:
1. ALWAYS USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL. Don’t brake and turn without giving notice.
2. If you are turning next to someone who is turning the opposite direction, don’t pull so far forward the person next to you can’t see around your car.
3. Don’t wait until the last second to merge when a road narrows to one lane.
4. When traffic is backed up, let in people who are trying to turn your direction.
5. Don’t run red lights. Not only is it dangerous, it prevents people with a green light from proceeding.
6. Stop at all crosswalks. Pedestrians have the right of way.
7. Watch out for bicyclists, and give them plenty of room when you pass them. Do not try to squeeze them off the road.
8. Don’t pass me because I’m going too slow for you, then force me to slow down even more by turning in front of me. Wait an extra ten seconds and turn from behind me.
9. Don’t weave in and out of lanes just to pass slow cars. You’re not going to arrive at your destination any sooner.
10. Don’t honk at people without good reason. They could be broken down, or waiting for someone to cross the street, or unable to move forward for any number of reasons. Unless someone is truly not paying attention to traffic, keep your noise to yourself.
A lot of these tips are exercises in patience. They may be difficult to follow, but they’ll probably also lower your blood pressure a little and make you more relaxed. And they’ll help make the world a little nicer place to live.