Life, Musings

Courtesy Costs Nothing and Benefits Everyone

That was my secondary (high) school motto and I think it was a good motto to have. When you learn, work or live with other people you should consider them in your actions and the world would be a far more pleasant place if people respected that.

unfortunately, working in London has made me think that courtesy is a dying breed.

(photo from

On the tube, it’s every man and women for themselves. People will literally push you out the way to get on a train and race you to a seat. I’ve seen pregnant women ignored by people who don’t want to give up their seats, studying their newspapers and books pretending they can’t see her.

Living out of the city in Surrey I do see a positive change when I come home, people are a touch more friendly and people will let you get off the train first and people will wake someone up on the tain if they’re still asleep. But how much longer will there be a difference between places – will everywhere go the same way as the city where people ignore each other and would probably step over you if you fell over just to get where they need to go.

(Photo from

I wonder if my old school still has that motto. I hope so because I still think it’s a lesson that needs learning and it’s one that I hope we don’t completely lose in the world.

What are manners like where you live?

Vix x


16 thoughts on “Courtesy Costs Nothing and Benefits Everyone”

  1. Sadly, I think that courtesy is a truly dying art in modern society, at least here in the States. While it is slightly better away from the cities (I still get a jolt when people call me Ms. Kramer even though I tell them to call me Lisa, and a more shocking jolt when I get called Ma’am) but still courtesy, politeness, all of that seems to be fading. I feel like people never get past the “me, me, me” stage to recognize that other people exist around them. My daughter lives in that stage, but she is only 8. I am working on reminding her that other people matter too. But that is hard to do when she sees older people treating each other so rudely. Sigh.

    1. It’s suprising and depressing how much you get used to lack of manners. It’s a shame for children as you say, if there’s not more parents like you to remind them, they will have no respect or courtesy! Good on you for trying to teach her that.

  2. Hi
    Oh this is something I think about a lot too as a mum of 3 young kids. We live in a small village so people are friendlier. My kids noticed this very quickly from when we lived in a city. I just have to keep reminding them good manners is what helps to make us human and will eventually get them further than rudeness and hope it sticks!

  3. I agree with Lisa, it seems to be a thing of the past here and quickly fading away. However, I live in the South so people tend to be more polite than other places. Too polite for my liking (along with too slow). I want to move to a bigger city but not something as big as NYC with all the rudeness there (similar to London I’m sure)

    1. I can understand why you have your sights set on a bigger place to live, there’s pros and cons to both ways of life. You’ll def find it less neighbourly. I found NYC similar to London in that way although people were impressed by the British accent 🙂

  4. Oh I’m glad I live in the country (rural Arkansas, USA). Men here still hold the door for women, people definitely would give up a seat for a pregnant woman, and courtesy is a basic way of life. Once I hit a deer in my jeep and had to walk to the nearest house. Strangers invited me in, gave me coffee, offered breakfast, let me use the phone to call a tow truck and gave me a ride into town so could get home. I didn’t know it was a fading attitude 😦

    1. I’m glad that courtesy and manners are still around where you are! I don’t think strangers would do that here but my neighbours would so maybe it’s about less trust in city places (more crime too I imagine!) that effects their attitude.

  5. Big cities in Malaysia like KL has pretty much the same kind of “courtesy” you see in KL. However in Auckland, NZ where I am now, people are generally very polite. I take the bus everyday and each time the bus make a stop, you hear a bunch of thank-you’s flying across from the back. Elderly and the disabled gets priority all the time and people make an effort to accomodate them. Maybe Auckland isn’t too much of a “big city” just yet…..let’s hope it stays this way 🙂

  6. I think in northern Europe (except England, you are very polite there 🙂 ) people can be rather rough around the edges sometimes, and you are used to it. Still I would expect people to stand up for elderly and pregnant ladies (which doesn’t always happen).
    Sometimes it’s just passivity though. I can get rather annoyed when I sit on the aisle seat on the tram and the person sitting beside me wants to get off but doesn’t say “excuse me” or anything to get my attention – just starts staring at me and scramble with their things and finally stand up (like they want to walk into me?) Weird.

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