First published on “The Juggler”
I want to address you today about being courteous. This doesn’t just mean saying “please” and “thank you”, although those are VERY important things. No, this means that you try to smooth the way before your fellow humans.
Things like holding the door open for someone when you see their hands are full. That’s courtesy. Things like asking which floor you are going to when getting on an elevator and pushing the button for you. That is courtesy.
It comes from the courtly game of manners. Courtesy helps if only by making someone’s day go a little better, a little smoother, a little less stressful.
Something like not talking about a book someone hasn’t read yet, when they say they haven’t read it, is courtesy. If I haven’t read, say, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince yet, and I say so, it is HIGHLY rude for you to discuss salient plot points and spoil the book for me in an open discussion.
I’ve had to refrain from reading three quarters of my daily viewing for JUST THIS PROBLEM. If you want to discuss the book, go to places where discussion of the book is the order of the day. There are multiple chat boards dedicated to disection of the book, and you can talk about it there to your heart’s content.
But to get on, say, an adult webmaster’s board and spoil the book for everyone is just da*ned rude. Really. I have a friend who had the whole book spoiled because of that. She is in the adult online industry and was looking through a discussion board dedicated to helping each other with the various problems relating to their websites, and she had the book spoiled for her because of that. Made her mad.
Courtesy would demand that you refrain from doing things like that. Courtesy demands that you think about how someone else is going to feel when the surprise ending is killed by those who have read the book.
Remember, do unto others…. You may find yourself having the end of X-Men III destroyed for you while you save up your money for the ticket price.