March 21 is Common Courtesy Day, a day to practice common courtesy.
The day is a reminder that our treatment of others speaks volumes about our character and our moral fiber.
Common courtesy refers to basic practices and behaviors that are considered to be acceptable and appropriate in a given social and cultural setting. Because of this, it is possible that what is considered common courtesy in one society, may be considered rude and unacceptable in another.
Thank You Is Universal
Some common courtesies are still considered to be universal. These include: saying please and thank you when asking for a favor, maintaining hygiene standards, not making rude or obscene gestures, and respecting elders.
In most societies, not only is a person judged by their behavior towards other people, he or she is also treated the same way as they treat others. In this way, the practice of common courtesy creates a tight-knit group, where every member follows the same practices and treats each other in the same way.
Researchers have suggested that this need for group members to follow similar social and interpersonal etiquette serves an evolutionary purpose. People from other tribes and groups who follow different behavioral rules can be easily identified and denied in-group benefits.
What Goes Around...
People who are kind and polite tend to find themselves being treated in kind and with more friends and admirers. The bottom-line is: it pays to follow common courtesies. What goes around, comes around.
How to Celebrate?
While most people practice common courtesy every day, take this day to assess how you interact with others and perhaps change your behavior.
Start with simple things like saying please and thank you and sorry when appropriate.
Thank people who are courteous to you and appreciate them.
Did You Know...
...that the term curtsey, meaning to bow down in front of someone as an act of respect, originated in the late 1600s in England?