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  • Writer's pictureWILLIAM A SLOAN

Uncommon Courtesy

When others come first

So, here’s a thought – what if other people’s well being came before the thought of your own? Interesting, right? I think, once upon a time it was the norm, or, if not the norm, considered the right thing to do. Think of others first. Think of the whole before the individual.


But maybe I’m making that up. Maybe it was always a polite thing to say but everyone was basically thinking of themselves, I don’t think that’s true.

Maybe this is my own fantasy. But it’s a nice fantasy, where people thought of others regularly and consistently before thinking only of themselves.

Did that change? I truly think not. I think it has, in the glossy public consumption view, where everyone, I mean everyone, is out for themselves and screw the neighbors/friends/enemies/people other than themselves. And when it’s blasted across social media that way (news doesn’t count anymore, by the way. Sad.), it comes off as cold, selfish, self-interested and stupid. It just does. And a lot of people who are shy or insecure, glom on and go with a flow they would normally avoid.

I chose to believe that most people, if they turned their phones off, or at the very least, their Facebook and Instagram accounts, that they would hold the door open, offer a helping hand...even say please and thank you. Imagine that.

Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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