Friday, February 4, 2011

Monkeys and Missed Manners

So... while making my daily commute this morning, I came to the conclusion that inebriated rhesus monkeys could probably drive better than 50% of the idiots that were on the roads in southeastern PA this morning. This is not exactly a new observation for Uncle P, but rather a concern about the lack of common courtesy in my fellow human beings.

This is something I have observed not just among drivers, but in almost every aspect of daily life. When I visit my local grocery store, I am constantly amazed by the shoppers who leave their carts in the middle of the aisle while they go in search of what they are looking for, without a care about the other shoppers they may be inconveniencing by doing so. While searching for a parking spot at my local strip mall, I am stunned by the ruthlessness with which other folks will steal the spot which I have patiently for, turn signal be damned. And speaking of turn signals - please use them. And put them on before you brake, so I know why you are braking. And if you call me to ask a question, please let me answer that question before you interrupt - I'm about to finish a sentence that will address your question in full.

Would you like me to move, so you can reach the perfect lemon? Then say "Excuse me," as you elbow your way towards it. Do you want to borrow something of mine? No problem -- as long as you return it when you are finished with it (unless its the thirtieth cigarette you've bummed without offering me a single one of yours). Need a ride home? Okay - just don't ask me to stop for a quick moment and then spend an hour at the Quickie Mart while I grow increasingly impatient in the parking lot. Has the light turned yellow? Then let the person who has patiently waited to make a left turn go, rather than gunning your engine through the intersection because you don't have the patience to wait two minutes for the next green light. Does the person behind you in line at the checkout have one item while you have twenty? Let them go ahead... you'll both benefit. Does a co-worker smile and acknowledge you as he passes you in the corridor? Then do the same, rather than stare at the floor and ignore him.

None of these things are particularly difficult to do. And they make the world just that much more a pleasant place in which to spend one's life. You may well think that you are the Center of the Universe (and for all intents and purposes, you are), but that doesn't mean you are the ONLY person in that Universe. Like it or not, we have to share the planet with one another. Imagine how much nicer and easier your life would be if you were treated with the most basic of courtesies. 

Sadly, try as I might, more people are far more concerned with their own Universes than the one which we are forced to share.

Sorry for the lecture (I had a day). Those of you who already practice common courtesy know I'm not talking to or about them and those who don't are already lost causes... but maybe, just maybe, one of the latter group will recognize themselves and decide to make a change for the better. Of course, those who are so unaware will simply assume I'm talking about someone else and go about their lives being a**holes without knowing so and completely miss the point of the post in first place. 

"Uncle P, why are so so cranky tonight?" Honestly - it's because the a**holes seem to be outnumbering the decent folks and that is simply not acceptable. The next time you find yourself in public, ask yourself how you want to be treated and do the same to for everyone you encounter. I believe It's called "The Golden Rule."

More, anon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better.
My feelings precisely.
I sometimes feel there's no hope for the human race, because of lack of common courtesy and selfishness of some people. It's ugly out there.