Archive for August 31st, 2007

Question for the Day: What Happened to “Common” Courtesy?

August 31, 2007


The phase “common courtesy” is still heard, but I think the concept belongs on the endangered species list. Courtesy–or actions “marked by polished manners and by respect for and consideration of other” isn’t common. It often is completely missing.

As a Boy Scout should be able to tell you, courtesy is being polite to everyone regardless of age or position and that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.

Being respectful, showing gratitude and thanks, treating others the way they would like to be treated . . . all signs of courteous behavior often seem to be missing today’s world.

A simple example that occurs for me almost everyday. On my commute to work, I need to merge right across 2 lanes of traffic to reach my exit. Almost everyone in these 2 lanes needs to continue straight ahead, or perhaps merge to the left a lane or two. Almost everyday, cars behind me will speed up or at least not let me in, only to merge to the left after they are in front of me. Simply “common courtesy” would be to let me move right, then they could move left. A win-win. But it rarely happens.

Another example: handling trash. I wrote an entry on August 30th on how trash is just tossed on the ground, without any thought at all.

Perhaps the world is getting too busy, too disconnected. Perhaps we should slow down, pay attention to what is happening around us, and each personally act more politely and more courteously.

We learned in Boy Scouts the importance of Doing a Good Turn Daily. Maybe we need to Practice a Common Courtesy Daily also.

How can you and I be more courteous today? Who can we say thank you to today? Who can use a nod and a smile? Who can use a helping hand?


The Specials Today are “Burnt Lion’s Head, Virgin Chicken, and The Temple Explodes the Chicken Cube.”

August 31, 2007

Next August, the Beijing Olympics will begin. However, the Chinese cooks are getting ready now. According to an AP story, people visiting the Olympics will have their choice of “virgin chicken” (a young chicken dish) or “burnt lion’s head” (Chinese-style pork meatballs). Other garbled names include “The temple explodes the chicken cube” (kung pao chicken) or “steamed crap” (steamed carp). Chinese officials are working on a menu list with better translations. I’m not too sure that is a good idea. I’ve had some kung pao chicken that has felt like “the temple explodes the chicken cube.” It is really Truth in Advertising.

Apparently, there is even a term for this–Chinglish. I needed some good laughs today. Here are some of my favorites that I found on-line. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.