The Home Going of Common Courtesy
We are saddened by the loss of our good friend Common Courtesy. The fine art of etiquette has lost one of its strongest fighters.
Common Courtesy lived a good life through many centuries, making its make of the world simply by distributing well placed, “pleases” and “thank you’s” along the way. Courtesy spent countless days teaching our children how to master a simple ‘excuse me,” and the amazing feat of addressing adults with a “ma’am and sir,” thus, easing the already stressful world of adulthood, by impressing upon us just how powerful the words, “thank you” are.
With the loss of Courtesy, we are not quite sure where our community will end up. Poor Aretha can hang up her poignant cry for R-E-S-P-E-C-T because, with the death of Courtesy, that cry is falling on deaf ears. Yet, there must be a way to stop the legacy that Courtesy built from dying. There must be a way that we can step up as a people and re-add Common Courtesy to our list of heroes. Perhaps we can remember that we are not the only people on the planet and despite what you may think, everyone does not care who you are. That step alone will evoke a spirit of graciousness, and with that will come consideration, which will lead to politeness and one and on—until we make our way back to respect—which is all courtesy really is…respect for ourselves through respecting others.
Another way is to learn or re-learn the art of etiquette. Etiquette by definition in the American Heritage Dictionary is, “the practices and forms prescribed by social convention or by authority.” Now many people feel that etiquette is for the nouveau riche, and the socially affluent, but we all know that Big Mama, and Granny taught us about respecting our elders and saying, “please” and “thank you” long ago. That is all the etiquette is.
Etiquette is important in human interaction because it is a matter of showing dignity for human nature itself. Perhaps we should go back to the presence of “the old school.” In the face of adversity, our fore parents knew that when no one else was showing African-Americans respect, we could at least be courteous to each other. For the sake of our children, let us never forget the path that our brother Common Courtesy paved for us. Find a class for your children, get a book, go and sit with some senior citizens, whatever you need to do, DO IT! Let’s not let our brother die. If we pull together, it will soon be as if he never left.
Brother Courtesy, we will do our part to keep your spirit alive! Or maybe he is not dead, he is just resting, but we need to wake him up. Y’all! We need to wake him up!