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Beyond the Norm-Mel

Its not that difficult to be courteous

It's very seldom I gripe about manners, because, although I was not raised by wolves, I do not have the most polished manners. I do however have a few common courtesies I try to live by.

First of all, cell phones users are one of the biggest violators of common courtesy.

I have a cell phone, but I try to be a little courteous of those around me. When it comes to meetings, ceremonies, movie theaters, drama productions and music shows I leave my cell phone at home. Cell phones have two wonderful features that allow owners to do this. First of all they come with a caller ID system that lets you know of any missed calls, and secondly voice mail is a wonderful feature, which allows callers to leave a message.

If you just can't live without your cell phone the mute or off button work well to avoid being inconsiderate and yet give a person the security of holding onto their phone.

What's worse than just being a cell phone offender is answering your cell phone in a normal talking voice when in a meeting, ceremony, movie theater, drama production or music concert.

Parents who don't keep a tight reign on children are also in danger of violating courtesies. I'm not of the belief that children should be seen and not heard, but unruly children at a young age lead to unruly children at an older age.

Recently I witnessed a child running unattended yelling at the top of his lungs. Children and adults need to learn there are two kinds of voices; inside voices and outside voices. Inside voices are pleasant voices that don't easily carry across a gymnasium. Outside voices are those used to cheer on your favorite sports team.

Also, when a child is throwing a tantrum it's embarrassing for all, including those of us without kids and those whose children are behaving.

Another courtesy often overlooked is one when it comes to entering a meeting or event late. This also applies at church.

The object is to enter without making a scene or taking the focus off whatever is going on. Too often people make too much noise and take the focus off the speaker. The key is to enter quickly and quietly and to take a seat. Don't look for a choice seat or a friend to sit next to. That time is over. You should have been there early.

The same goes for church. Enter quietly. Hold the door so it doesn't slam shut and take a seat near the back (there are usually some empty.)

When it comes to driving there is a laundry list of courtesies that are often overlooked.

Just yesterday my husband was nearly hit as he sit at a stop sign because the driver of a semi truck and trailer couldn't wait for him to drive away before he attempted to pull into a parking lot. My husband, who was at the stop sign, had to back up 20 feet to avoid being struck by the other driver's vehicle. He was lucky there wasn't anyone behind him.

These are just a few of the common courtesies that come to mind. These are courtesies that are good for all of us to remember.

. Melissa Dekker can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail mdekker@eaglenewspapers.com

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