I came across a letter titled "Cyclists, Please Show Courtesy to Trail Walkers (Aug. 9), and while I could not agree more with the author, his letter made me realize that common courtesy really is not all that common anymore.
Since reading this letter, I began paying more attention to how people interact with others in public settings and found that most people of my generation are too busy sipping a latte and staring at an iPhone screen to hold a door open, say hello to a passerby, politely navigate an aisle in a grocery store or even, heaven forbid, use a turn signal when they are speeding to get to the mall.
Growing up I was taught by those around me the importance of saying please and thank you, holding the door open for those behind you as well as other simple gestures that add some human decency to an often chaotic world. This issue of showing common courtesy on local recreation trails merely reflects an overall larger problem -- a rapid depletion of common courtesy in our society.
Trust me, being 22 years old I understand that sometimes it can be a pain to hold a door open for someone who then doesn't even say thank you, but in the grand scheme of things, if people only did things for some external reward or recognition there would be a lot left undone.
It seems to me this growing trend of living in a society with smartphones and ignorant people is leading to further government regulation in areas that not all that long ago were regulated by widely accepted etiquette standards, otherwise known as common courtesy. Today, it's regulating the distance allowed between motorists and cyclists on roadways; tomorrow it could be regulating whether to hold open a door for a stranger if they're within a certain number of feet of a doorway.