Making Common Courtesy Common Again

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

My wife and I are grandparents of teenagers. We’re from a different era; however, we want to know what to do about the need for common courtesy.

We go to sporting events, dance recitals, and birthday parties for our grandchildren, where basic “thank you” and “please” are lacking.

We taught our children how to be polite, but it doesn’t seem to be taught to this generation.

We asked our granddaughter if she got our graduation present (money), expecting a “thank you.”

We know people don’t write hand-written notes of gratitude anymore, but we thought she would at least thank us. She just said she got it.

Our daughter told us not to take it personally.

We need your opinion.


Grandma and Grandpa

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

Civility, by the common standard of society, was the accepted practice of showing your care, consideration, and courtesy to others. Common courtesies create a peaceable and a kind society.

Since the advent of social media (if not before), there has been a decline in our culture to practice the following top ten common courtesies:

  1. Never embarrass anyone. “Embarrass” meaning: humiliate, make uncomfortable, or ashamed.
  2. Apologize when you hurt another person physically, emotionally, or spiritually … and mean it. Don’t do it again.
  3. Don’t interrupt conversations; you are not more important than another person.
  4. Decline an invitation or change plans with great thoughtfulness and appreciation that you were invited. They’re showing you care and no one needs to be rude or lie about plans. Don’t accept or change an invitation or plans because something better comes along.
  5. Respect the needs of others and their property as if it’s you and your very own property.
  6. Help others save face, which means talking privately about personal subjects, especially if it isn’t something the other person wants made public. Don’t be loud or obnoxious in public and don’t gossip.
  7. Do write thank you notes two weeks after a birthday, event, or receiving a present (wedding presents may take three months). It’s warmer to take the time to value others.
  8. Use good table manners like not talking with your mouth full, eating off someone else’s plate, or smacking. (Look these up and be the good example.)
  9. Do not use rude language or swear, especially in public, like, “I hate you” or “shut up,” and don’t claim you were only joking.
  10. Practice and teach niceties like “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and open doors or help others … always!

Let’s create a kinder, more gracious, more loving culture by saying and showing genuine care, consideration and courtesy to others.


Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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