13 years ago
Anthony Tseng

<p>There is a prize for the person who correctly answers the question, “What is common decency?”</p>
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<p>When asked this question most people might have a textbook definition of the phrase, but true understanding of its meaning lies in applying it or experiencing it.</p>
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<p>By the time I learned to tie my shoes, my parents also were teaching me how to be courteous to others. This included saying the magic words – “please,” whenever I wanted something – and -“thank you,” whenever I was given something. But is saying these polite magical words really enough? I thought it was. It was only when I began observing my parents’ actions that I caught on.</p>
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<p>Whenever we had guests over, my parents would always offer them something to drink. I noticed it as a polite and considerate gesture that the guests would always appreciate and that brought a smile to my face.</p>
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<p>Now that I’m older, I seem to notice more and more opportunities where common decency could easily be applied. But these opportunities are ones that many often fail to take. Where has the act of common decency gone these days?</p>
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<p>This still remains a mystery lurking in the back of my mind because I can’t seem to find where common decency has gone. I’ve gone to sleep at night only to be woken by the thump of mega bass subwoofers and the clamor of people right above me. At that hour, common decency should interject and say, “It’s late and people are trying to sleep. Maybe it is not such a good idea to have our subwoofers blasting and all of our friends over making loud heavy thumps on the floor and cackling outside on the balcony because the people around us are probably trying to sleep.” But that doesn’t happen.</p>
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<p>Another case is when you walk out of your apartment and you see garbage outside people’s doors and you’re hit by an insipid stench. You wonder why people don’t just walk to the dumpster and throw away the trash instead of leaving it in a common area to attract flies and insects of all kinds.</p>
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<p>Or, what about just walking down the hall or upstairs and somebody just walks in your direction and accidentally bumps into you or gets too close to you? While most people seem to naturally understand the two-way trafficking system for walking, others seem bewildered as to why one group of people walks on the right side while those walking in the opposite direction walk on the left.</p>
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<p>Could it be that the reason most public restrooms look disgusting are because people without common decency love to make a mess for the next person who has to use the restroom and so on?</p>
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<p>Whatever the case may be, it is clear that some people these days just don’t apply common decency enough. Maybe people don’t realize the importance of it or maybe they just simply ignore it. I cannot speak for everyone, but I can definitely raise awareness for this worthwhile cause and explain what common decency truly is.</p>
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<p>Common decency is a combination of common courtesy and common sense. People with common decency have both.</p>
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<p>Common courtesy allows a person to understand how another person is feeling and enables them to heed to their needs.</p>
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<p>Common sense allows one to know when to apply common courtesy. It is in certain situations that common courtesy is needed and to become aware of these certain situations requires a judgment of common sense.</p>
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<p>Exercising common decency can raise the quality of living on a large scale for everyone. All we have to do is become aware of these small opportunities for common decency and learn how to apply it and we will have reached a subtle, but magnificent, achievement in enhancing everyday life.</p>
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