A Scout is Courteous. One of the reasons Scouting is so valued in the United States is that Scouts have a code of behavior (Scout Law) and a code of ethics (Scout Oath) that guide them as they grow and into adulthood. Courtesy in the United States has been on the decline for more than 20 years, but as societal norms are declining, you have the opportunity to stand out in the crowd.
As our culture evolves, our language evolves. Words like “Hello” have yielded to “sup” and terms like “Have a nice day” have yielded to “later”. Even “thank you” has yielded to “a double latte”. At the heart of the issue is something called “etiquette” and in America, our social etiquette is taking a dunk. There was a survey of Americans on etiquette a dozen years ago and here’s what it found:
-Forty-six percent said their parents’ generation put more effort into entertaining guests than they currently do and 50 percent said their parents’ generation invested more time in their fashion choices and grooming habits.
– 79 percent said they wished better manners were a priority as in previous generations.
– 46 percent of men said they never or hardly ever stood up when a lady leaves the table.
– 48 percent of respondents did not sent a handwritten thank-you note within the past year — or ever.
And the stories we hear in the media continue to reinforce that courtesy is on the decline. The high level of turnover in restaurants and hotels is due to a lack of courtesy and civility in customer interactions. 4% of American’s quite their jobs in April 2021 because the company the worked for did not value them or include them. I recall a moment where a young girl ran in front of my car and I slammed on my breaks to avoid hitting her. Her mother screamed profanities and spat at me, but never considered that she was on her phone and not minding her 4 year old daughter in a parking lot.
Behaviors are taught and learned. Being Courteous is part of the Scout Law and an expected behavior, not a nicety that you occasionally observe.
Whether opening a door for anyone, loading groceries to a car for someone, or being polite in your manners and communications. Courteous is a CHOICE. And choices are made when you are aware of your communications and how people perceive them. As you interact with people every day, ask yourself “Was I Courteous???”