Common courtesy is not as common as it should be


Cell phone usage continues to impact our ability to empathize and communicate.

Mikaylah MacDonald, Staff Writer

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase common courtesy? It could be as small as holding the door open for someone or throwing your trash away when you’re done. Little acts of kindness can mean a lot in the moment and really impact the environment around you.

I am not writing this to call attention to those who don’t do this; I’m not even saying that people who don’t do this are bad. It is impossible to constantly be aware of your surroundings all the time. I am merely bringing to light a subject often neglected in society. The importance of common courtesy is not a subject taught in schools; it is something that can be learned via experiences.

First let’s start with why it’s not common: people rarely think of anyone other than themselves. I’m not saying this is bad; I myself am guilty of this. In today’s society, however, people can be so engrossed in their phones that they forget that there is a world outside of that tiny mobile device that we all hold so near and dear to our hearts.

Now, this is not the only reason our senses are dwindling, but it’s one of the major reasons as to why. I mean when were you last outside and just lived in the moment? When was the last time you really connected to the world around you?

Ever since cell phones became a permanent part of our worlds, people have been becoming increasingly more inattentive, whether that be on the road, in the classroom, or just in life itself. As a society we have been consumed by technology, and with the advancements of science, it won’t go away anytime soon.  

The ability to feel emotions is considered a distinctly human trait, but ever since the invention of electronics that skill, that ability that separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom, is slowly being eradicated as society evolves. Social skills are needed to thrive, and I want to think that ever since COVID we’ve learned how much community means.

Without empathy and the ability to separate ourselves from that ever important Instagram post, can we really be present to the people around us? Can we fully embrace all of the world’s beauty if our attention is consumed by an inanimate phone?

In the words of Singer-Songwriter Jackie DeShannon, “Think of your fellow man, lend them a helping hand. Put a little love in your heart.” If we put down our phones more, we might be surprised by how much we can learn about the people and world around us.