"Common Courtesy Isn't Common"

Essay by BeerloverUniversity, Bachelor's February 2006

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American society is absent of common courtesy. I will not compare modern

society to that of past periods in American history; I am only concerned in this

respect to the present. I focus in on American society due to the fact that I am an

American, and my concern at present is with common courtesy in my own


The first item I would like to address is the idea of common courtesy.

What is common courtesy, and why is it needed? I define courtesy as a gesture of

goodwill without the expectation of something in return from the individual that

such courtesy was directed towards. As a whole, such courtesy is missing

from American society. Common courtesy is so lacking in society that

individuals do not even conduct themselves in proper behavior that in the past

might have been termed proper etiquette, such etiquette is not in the least

followed, and has been advanced to be termed common courtesy.

This can be noted on numerous instances. Some instances include

conduct in a movie theatre, the college campus setting, and those who

choose to smoke cigarettes in public. To better define instances in which common

courtesy does not exist, I shall give examples of each of those instances

listed above in greater detail. Though these behaviors cannot even be considered

that of an absence of courtesy due to the fact that these behaviors run contrary

to proper etiquette in those particular situations or surroundings, I will continue the

term courtesy to prevent confusion in the following paragraphs.

Movie theatres are a place for people to enjoy a form of entertainment.

This form of entertainment is not a social activity, but rather a solitary activity.

This activity requires no other individual present, and the interaction between

individuals should follow at...