Thursday, March 13, 2008

Common Courtesy 101 - A Lesson I Have Not Learned Yet...

...is that I realistically cannot expect anything from anyone based on my needs, or even just based upon common courtesy. That goes for even those who I have helped out in the past (some more than once). You see, I do expect common courtesy from folks, especially folks whom I have assisted in some way or another in the past, and it irks me to no end when such is not given to me. You know that thing I just mentioned - don't you? Common Courtesy, mostly now a morality thing of the past or so it seems, but since I was brought up with it hammered into my head, I still usually go out of my way to offer it to others. Now it may be shame on me - but I expect it from others, and especially expect it back when I have been more than courteous to someone - such as when I have been generous to them.

No, as you have probably guessed, I do not mean that I am irked to no end because someone has not extended me the courtesy of holding a door open for me rather than letting it close in my face, or that someone has not waited for me to exit an elevator before they try to squeeze inside, or that someone did not stop at a stop sign and allow me to cross the street. Sure someone being discourteous like that is common today, but it gets me miffed! It should get you upset too. Being courteous and doing right by the other guy are or should be common courtesies, but the type I just mentioned are ones you would, or should, give to any stranger you pass. I am a bit more than miffed, I am pretty upset when it comes to someone who claims to be your friend, or who is at least an acquaintance, and who disregards courtesies that were once understood to be common, and that were once considered important enough to be looked upon as an important obligation to return. The type of common courtesy to which I refer is the one by which you go a bit out of your way to do something nice for someone who has done something nice or extraordinary for you. You do not need return a courtesy right away when someone helps you out, not immediately after that other person did something nice for you; but certainly when you are aware that the other person who treated you with extraordinary courtesy is now himself also in need. You should then make an effort to help out at least in some small manner. If you do not - well then you lack common courtesy, and you probably are not worth a repeat of mine - but dope that I am I would probably still offer my courtesies to you. That is I would have done so in the past, currently I am getting kind of sick of being played for the helpful stooge.

Recently I helped out a few people, whom I know, monetarily. It was not much, but in each case I went out of my way to assist them. I gave what I could, then I even gave more again after I made a concerted effort to raise some extra cash to give to them, and to tell the truth I needed the cash pretty badly myself but figured they needed it more. As I said, no great amount, and no big deal - not my helping them out anyhow. There is a big deal though, a thorn that is stuck in my foot, and I cannot shake it loose and it is festering. That thorn is in the form of the lack of help I received from them when I too could have used help. I do not mean money either, I mean help that would have been so minuscule as to have probably only taken up about a few minutes of their ever so precious time, cost them nothing in money, but which would have meant an awful lot to me as far as making something much easier for me. Now you may wonder, did the people to whom I refer actually know I was in need? Yes they did know, and they knew exactly what I needed was some information and maybe some advice on a subject about which they have ample knowledge, and they knew it would have been nothing more than the few minutes at most that it would have cost them to have made something much easier for me. Heck, I even discussed it with some of them when they told me they were aware of the specific information/advice I was seeking. You know, it went something like: "Hey I hear you are doing this that and the other thing". Me saying : "Yeah, I am I sure could use some advice about it" and waiting for more from them. Then the others changing the subject and then walking away without an offer of assistance. It would have been pretty easy to offer to give me a hand - not a handout. It was easy enough for some of you though, some of you whom I know only through my blog and your blogs. Somehow though, it apparently turned out it that is was way too inconvenient for the folks whom I helped out, when they were in need, to give me a return courtesy, and one which they could have easily afforded at that. So I am pissed off somewhat ired by their lack of respect for me as evidenced by their lack of common courtesy toward me.

Now I am wondering whether or not it is worth my while, my effort, my money, to help out pompous self centered money grubbing jerks people in need like that again any time soon, if ever again. I can tell you one thing for sure, if you receive a courtesy from someone, especially if it is after your having asked for help, you ought to return it with another tenfold of courtesies. That way you will be sure to receive more courtesies in the future rather than having someone let the door slam in your face; well truth be told that may happen anyway. All in all it just makes life a nicer more courtesy filled place because many people still return courtesies. It also makes you feel better about yourself, that is if you have a morally based conscience to begin with. As to those of you who actually offered me help and gave advice, and there were a few of you, I say thanks very much, and if you need something that I can help with - rest assured I will return the favor if I can, and I'll remain courteous to you because if nothing else - you deserve it by way of your own extension of courtesy. What goes around certainly comes around, or should do so regarding common courtesy, don't you think?

All the best,
Glenn B
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