I hear the term “common courtesy” tossed around quite often, but lately it seems (to me anyway) that courtesy is anything BUT common. Case in point:
The drawing above (pardon my lack of expertise) diagrams a situation that happened to me this past weekend. Let me set the stage:
• I am in the ORANGE car trying to cross the street to get to the restaurant for breakfast with my family.
• Traffic is stopped due to a slow moving train on the railroad tracks.
• There is a gap in the line of cars, allowing me an opportunity to cross traffic and get to the restaurant.
Okay…it all seems pretty simple…right? Not really.
The driver of the gray vehicle must have felt that my attempt to cross in front of him somehow attacked his manhood, so as I prepared to move forward, said driver began to close the gap (red arrows) until my path was completely blocked. I was stunned by this, since there was really no point to be made. I wasn’t trying to get in front of him, or block him from moving forward. This would be a simple maneuver; me crossing the street and being gone from his life in less than five seconds. Ahh…but that was not to be.
It was my good fortune that the car directly behind the gray car wasn’t moving, perhaps asleep at the wheel from being parked at a railroad crossing for an extended period of time, which allowed me to move around the rear of the gray vehicle and to my destination. But I was bothered by the scope of inconsideration involved in the decision made by the driver of the gray vehicle.
Most of us probably experience a lack of courteous behavior on a regular basis, to the point that we may be getting used to it. Opening or holding doors open for others, allowing motorists to merge freely in front of us, or even greeting strangers with a smile are courtesies that are being forgotten, and that is a sad fact for America. Without showing common courtesy to our fellow humans, we will become less caring in general.