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Uncommon Courtesy

June 3, 2003 |

Dear Mr. Keillor,
Whatever happened to the lost art of good old-fashioned courtesy? Today, a sullen teenager blundered by me as I held the door for his siblings and his mother. I was rewarded with a hostile glare by Mom. From people shoving past me before I can get off the elevator, to people giving me the one-finger salute in traffic after pulling in front of ME, it seems no one has any regard for his or her fellow human beings. Am I being paranoid, or is no one being taught any inkling of courtesy anymore?

Thank You Kindly,

Sam, rudeness has many roots, and shyness is one ---- people can be so self-conscious they neglect to extend courtesy, they look at their shoes and blunder through like that teenager ---- and then too the pace of life has picked up, and people seem more driven, less likely to pause for the niceties. Ten years ago, Minnesotans were fairly polite on the highway and would yield to each other and show consideration, and now ----- it's a jungle out there. A sad fact. My own people, in the safety of their vehicles, have turned into monsters.

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