Just be courteous, it’s not that hard to do

Carole Hodorowicz, Columnist

Normally, I do not find myself caring about what other people do. I have myself and my own actions to worry about and that is more than enough. But there is one thing about some people that will never fail to perplex me: an absolute lack of courtesy.

Saying “hi” to familiar faces, including the entire group in an activity or genuinely asking someone “How are you doing?” should be something everyone feels naturally inclined to do. Instead, these simple actions seem to be a privilege you have to earn from peers.

Some blame cellphones. Our eyes are locked on our screens from the moment we wake up until it is time for us to go to sleep.

We use our cellphones as a lifesaver in awkward situations, from social gatherings with an atmosphere thick with unfamiliarity to waiting rooms with stale magazine headlines and uncomfortable seating.

They are our escape and our shield, protecting us from any interaction that may present us with even the slightest bit of social agony. In doing this, we have lost some of these social cues along the way.

Others blame shyness. Not everyone has found their voice and not everyone who has found it feels the need or confidence to share it.

As someone who is the polar opposite of shy, I feel like I cannot argue this but I will say I do not think it qualifies as an excuse.

Having common courtesy should be an instinct. Sure, there are things that are easier said than done, but saying “hi,” to someone you know instead of ignoring them isn’t one of them.

Being exclusive and ignorant does not do anything for your self-image. It does not make you seem cooler or add to your street cred. If you blame your inability to extend this kindness on your shyness, news flash: it will not help you break out of your shell or grow in any way.

When so many things in this world are going wrong, I do not understand why it is so hard for us to do little things to make it right. Hold the door open for someone who is running into the building last minute with their hands full.

Include the quiet classmate in your group discussion or project so he or she does not have to do it alone again. Raise your hand to volunteer in class if you see your professor is struggling to get any feedback.

You are not in any way overextending yourself by being courteous. You are doing what everyone should be doing: just being nice.

Carole Hodorowicz is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]