Is COURTESY overrated or underrated?

"Courtesy" is one of those words one might not think about. It's a concept that is sometimes taken for granted, but it's essentiality can never be overestimated; with the state of the world today, we need to be constantly reminded how to be courteous.  


Now while this is practically different for everyone, I notice that courtesy has diverse meanings for each person due to contrast in personalities, upbringing and environment. For some, it is heavily inclined towards being considerate and polite in their actions; being amiable, solicitous, respectful, kind, cultured, thoughtful, benevolent and genteel. For others, it is to be complaisant and chivalrous to people— to be indulgent. In very polished outline it could be attributed to a state of quintessence.

For the most chunk, you are described as courteous when you show remorse or apologises; even when you are clearly not at fault. In more notable scenerios, when you give up your plans to accommodate others, you get crowned a courteous person and given your sash of respect.

For the last bit rarely talked about, you get your measure of credit when you give up something that you value for the other party; either a meal ticket, your last cash, a seat in the bus or at the park, your turn in a queue and, maybe your soul.


Respect in my opinion, has a different predilection or approach for each age group. The memories of my parents teaching me to be polite as early as a few months after I started talking, making sure I never forgot to greet my elders each morning as a chubby little toddler, giving my mouth little squeezes when I forgot to say thank you after meals and ingraining the impulse to greet those visibly older than me has stayed with me over the years.
As it was quite literally, beat, into my existence as a whole, I grew up viewing it all as a significant practice. This is probably not the case for everyone.

In the short run, I eventually began to view some overtly form of courtesy as wrong and inappropriate. Before you call me rude, calm your titties and hear me out.

The idea of "courtesy" is commonly disregarded in our modern society- one of those expressions that people now consider a commonplace. This is arbitrated from the point of exposure and frequent reassurance of wokeness common to the younger generation.

The older generation on the other hand live for the respect and some pay so much attention to it to the point where they interchange it with culture. 
You are quickly discharged as an uncultured/ill mannered individual if you don't run your head to the floor when courtesying and this is spot on a huge problem because you may not know whether you've wronged an elderly simply because your level of courtesy isn't up to their standards.


If I may add, the complaisant, polite attitude we have been taught to adopt our entire lives is no longer effective. In more extreme scenarios, there have been occasions where people have struggled while trying to be courteous, only to be taken advantage of precisely because they had made the effort to be respectful.

While it's always vital to be conscious of your surroundings and who you're speaking to, there are occasions when being haughty is the better option, especially if you're in an unfamiliar setting. It's not worth jeopardizing your safety or wellbeing only to be polite because there are plenty of people waiting to take advantage of someone they believe to be being respectful or courteous. Being overly nice occasionally puts you in danger. When in doubt, it's better to err on the side of safety and be less formal than to take the chance of putting yourself in danger just to appear to be obedient to society.


Some people believe that politeness is the most important trait in a person. Unproven hypothesis: It is not, despite the fact that its importance cannot be disputed. Showing people respect and courtesy, even when they have done something wrong or you are angry with them is important. However, ignoring the major social issues and slapping a courtesy with a standard label will not put food on the table or money in your pocket.

The world would be a much nicer place if everyone always behaved properly and politely toward one another, however, maybe spending more time practicing our expectations rather than imposing our standards of decorum on others would go a long way to teach those who look up to us courtesy in its purest form.

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◉ Platypus is the only animal that has no stomach.
◉ The human eye is capable of differentiating 10,000,000 hues.

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4 Comments

  1. I loved your blog post on courtesy. I especially appreciated that you mentioned the difference between courtesy and people-pleasing. I've often thought about the difference between people-pleasing and what I should and should not do in different situations. I think it's helpful to know that there's a clear difference.

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  2. Oh, how I enjoyed reading this! It's the ‘rubbing the floor with your head’ for me, haha

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    1. Person wey sabi πŸ˜‚
      Glad you enjoyed reading this!

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