I think the fact politeness disappears more and more could be attributed to the individualization of our society and to the use of our smart phones everywhere and everytime. Either we look at the screen of our cell phone or only mind our way and don’t care about the people around because we don’t see any connection.
We see ourself as an individual and not as a part of a higher group – our society – to which all the others belong as well. However, the latter is the reality. We depend on our environment – not only meaning our friends and family – and it would be totally impossible to live the way we do without them. You shouldn’t just benefit from the salesgirls’ advices in the store and then ignore them on the street.
Additionally, politeness is way more then only behaving decent in the moment. If everybody would do so, our world would be a much friendlier place. It wouldn’t solve big problems logically but make our everyday life more pleasurable. And maybe we can even save lives by helping people who look sick or fall down – it can be hard to overcome yourself and be the first to give first aid but believe me, as soon as one starts, the others will follow.
But we should already start in the details: “A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear” – it’s true! By smiling at the people around you can give them some warmth and a little moment of happiness. And if they smile back, you’ll get that as well. Let’s start a countermovement against the egoism nowadays and bring politeness back: Say hi to strangers, smile at everyone, offer your place to elders and don’t hesitate to help – it will make all of us feel better!