I often take the time to stop and marvel at the changes that have taken place in my lifetime. Network television was the only thing going when I was a kid. Now, there are many hundreds of entertainment choices. We never would have dreamed of seeing a movie outside a theater or anywhere except on TV. Now, you can see pretty much whatever you want, whenever you want on whatever device you happen to have handy.
Even in the area of staying in touch, we are more fortunate with modern technology. After I graduated high school, I slowly lost touch with everyone that I went to school with. Now, with Facebook, I am in touch with most of them again and I can talk to practically anyone I choose at any given moment.
Still, in the midst of all of this that we have gained, I think we have lost something far greater that will be difficult or near impossible to get back. What I mean is common courtesy.
You see it in everything you do. Let someone cut you off on the highway and if you protest at all, you are likely to get flipped off for your trouble. And you were the one that was mistreated. You see it in service you get from restaurants. I just recently dealt with it when we ordered pizza and they called just a few minutes before it was supposed to arrive to let us know that they didn’t have what we asked for. No apology for being late either. Our order showed up half an hour late. You even see it in the job search industry where you are likely to get a rejection letter in your email before you are even finished applying for a job (that actually happened to me a few years ago). Then there are those that don’t bother to even return phone calls, emails or other forms of communication.
While I am aware that we are all more busy than ever, I do know that the greatest of impacts can be had on people when you simply treat them like a person rather than a number. Contact someone and tell them personally what you intend on doing and why and you just might count on that person as a customer or friend in the future.
We would all do well to remember that old thing that we were all taught when we were young. Treat others as you would like to be treated. If you want common courtesy, then be a source of it. At some time in the future, you might find that someone will remember that you were there for them and go out of their way for you.
Yes, we did lose something and it will be hard to get back, but I think it can still be done. We must act, each one of us, in a different way. Maybe enact the golden rule personally and pay forward how you want to be treated. Who knows? You just might find out that someone will be your friend when you need it the most in the future.