The Lost Art Of Common Courtesy

Justin Patton
5 min readNov 10, 2018

Acts of kindness are revolutionary.

Photo on Unsplash by Juan Alvarez

Common courtesy has been all but common as of late. Writer Jeff Barton has an article on the topic that raises the question:

Have we completely lost common courtesy?

Lost And Forgotten

It feels like the whole world is on edge right now. People are one wrong look away from getting confrontational. Cutting someone off in traffic might get a gun pulled out on you. There is a chance that taking someone’s parking space could get you shot. Not that anyone should do these things anyway, but if it happens, is it really worth starting something? The most attention that any of these offenses deserve is a middle finger, then just keep it moving.

What is going on in people’s lives to where everyone seems so angry?

Nice, everyday gestures that used to come natural to people do not seem to come so natural anymore. Common courtesy are acts of kindness that are expected. However, in the world today I’ve come to expect rudeness more so than any act of kindness. I barely even get the honorary head-nod from other black men now!

Maybe we’re all so wrapped up in our own problems that we aren’t even thinking enough outside of ourselves enough to be nice. Maybe we view kindness as a weakness because so many people are looking to take advantage of others. Maybe we feed off negativity more than positivity. Maybe deep down we’re not satisfied with our own lives, so we’re taking it out on others.

Whatever the case is, it is in all of our best interests to co-exist in a way that makes life easier on all of us. Problems in our lives are unavoidable, but that does not mean we have to make it harder for everyone else by dumping our shit out on other people. I’m a firm believer in that the energy we give out, is the energy that we receive in return.

Acts of common courtesy have the power to change someone’s mood in an instant. And the best part about them is that they cost us nothing! The smallest gestures of kindness can go a long way, but the fact that common courtesy has become so rare indicates our lack of understanding of the power we possess to have an impact on other’s lives.

Justin Patton

Spoken word artist and writer. Living my life and writing about it along the way, it just might inspire somebody. IG: @iamjustinpatton