08 July 2007

The decline and fall of civilized society

Sometimes I’m not too sure about people. I mean in general they seem ok, but I also sense a distinct and prevailing...impoliteness I guess you would call it, permeating the species. Basically, I don’t understand why people act the way they do. And I'm not talking about the big issues like, "why is there war and bigotry when we should all just be able to get along?" or "why do boys act that way?" I'm talking about little day to day choices that people make without considering how it might affect another person.

Case in point: the grocery store. So there's one register open and a number of people standing in line. Noticing this, the store opens another register. What should happen in this situation is that the person who is next in the original line should move over to become the first person in the newly opened line. Person number 3 can then decide whether to remain in the old line or switch to the new—based on which they think will move faster. Then the rest of the people can divide themselves accordingly. But what actually happens is this: the new line opens, the people in the back of the line see their chance to get ahead a make a break for it, and they end up ahead of the people who had been waiting patiently to pay for their purchases long before those back of the line people even got there.

Again, it’s a small thing, but it’s also an illustration of how people seem to look out only for themselves. As long as they don’t have to wait in a long line, it doesn’t matter how it impacts others. It's like the people who don't recycle because it's too much trouble for them to rinse out their yogurt container or break down their cardboard boxes or whatever. "It's just one soda can, how much damage can it do? Besides, other people are recycling, so that should take care of it, right?"

I know I sound like a grumpy 98 year old talking about how “these kids today got no respect” but to that 98 year old I say "word" Common courtesy people...get with the program.


KMS said...

You could also use the fine phrase by Larry David to Richard Lewis about Lewis' well-read girlfriend (Curb your Enthusiasm, series one I think), these people need to read Emily F*cking Post.

If you need to take the high road, remind people of the 10 commandments and loving our neighbour (not coveting his ass).

I'm with you on this, as are all at Chez Storms-Hewitt. Imagine trying to guide a toddler through this age of anti-etiquette. I end up sounding like Cow Parent (no offense to cows; I just can't think of a clean word here) all the time. Why can't we all just be yummy mummies and be more concerned about our hair and bum, instead of the impact of our behaviour on the future of human interaction?

Being respectful to others involves restraint. Restraint isn't glamourous. Maybe that's why we have such a breakdown.

Rant done. Thanks for the corner.

KMS said...

I like Whole Foods NYC idea, http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0A16FB3A5B0C708EDDAF0894DF404482

Barn Owl said...

hahahaha that was a kickass lil blog - what bloggies are good for! yup.