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Only in America

Posted by destiny on September 28, 2009 in 2009 Entries |

Brittany posted a blog today that hit spot on with my feelings this morning.  First of all, it started when I left home this morning.  I was in the turning lane to turn left at the light near my house and a car, which was in the lane to go straight, swerved over and cut me off to turn left right as the light turned green.  Not only was that EXTREMELY rude, but really dangerous.  What if I hadn’t noticed them?  Yeah, if I had gone through the light at the speed I normally would have, they would have hit right into my passenger side door.  There is no where you HAVE to be that can be so important that you’d risk wrecking your car (therefore preventing you from getting to your destination all together.)  And I literally mean no where.  If your wife is in your passenger seat, in LABOR, you still have no reason to dangerously and rudely “push” someone out of your way.  Honestly if I was the person in the lane going straight and realized I wanted to turn left, I’d continue through the light in the lane I was in and make either make a U-turn as soon as I could, or simply go straight and use a different route to my destination.  Not that hard.

Brittany’s blog made me agree and think that it’s true… there really is not the type of respect that people used to see.  I almost said “the old days” and thought that seemed kinda silly because I’m only 24 years old and “the old days” wasn’t that long ago, but I realize that is exactly it.  It WASN’T that long ago, which proves how quickly it’s going downhill.  It wasn’t that long ago that you were still taught to open doors for other people.  I think most people think they only need to open doors for old ladies or people in a wheelchair, etc. which you absolutely SHOULD without question, but what’s wrong with opening a door for Joe Shmo, or simply whoever happens to be behind you?  The way I see it, if you get to the door first, you should automatically open the door for the people following you.  Why?  No reason.  There shouldn’t have to be a reason.  It’s just courteous.  A small sign that your parents raised you to respect people.  I don’t necessarily recall my parents sitting me down and making a written list of things you should and shouldn’t do.  I imagine everything I know and habits I’m used to doing all come from observation.  I don’t recall my parents sitting me down and saying “when you have kids someday, don’t hurt them”.  No, I’m pretty sure I just KNOW that because my parents didn’t hurt me.  My parents loved me and my siblings and I learned through observation.  You hug your children, not hit them.  You tickle them and make them laugh, not starve them and lock them in a basement.  The lack of respect and courtesy in this country and in the world maybe (I’m sure it’s a million times worse in the U.S. than anywhere else) goes all the way from not opening doors for people, to intentionally speeding up on the freeway so the person in the lane next to you with their turn signal on CANNOT get in front of you, to abusing your children and most likely causing them to grow up to do the same things.

How about the next time you’re in the grocery store checkout and the person behind you has less than half of the items you have, let them in front of you.  Or when you see a woman with a baby in a stroller, struggling to get through the doors at the mall, go out of your way to walk over to where she is and open the door for her.  If you’re across the parking lot loading your things into your car even… stop what you’re doing, cross the parking lot, and help her open the door.  I think people focus WAY too much on the “I’m way too busy” mentality.  You’re NOT too busy to open a door.  You ARE NOT too busy and in too much of a hurry to slow down a little and let the person on the freeway get in front of you.  You’re not too busy to say “Thank you, have a nice day!” to the person who served you your food at lunch, or rang you up at the checkout.  People SERVE us every single day, but people are too busy with their own lives and too focused on themselves to even let that person know that you appreciate them being there.  That gets me started on another thought… why is it that people look down at the people working at McDonalds or Wendy’s, but we sure as hell don’t complain that we can get food in less than two minutes BECAUSE that person is working there.  You look down on people that are “lower” on the food chain than you are.  Maybe you make more money than they do or you have nicer teeth or maybe you’re skinnier and prettier than the girl working at the McDonalds register, but have you ever appreciated the work that they do that makes it possible for you to run to lunch during work and get a meal in 5 minutes, allowing you to RUSH back to your busy day of work, but all you think about is how busy you are.  Do you realize THEY’RE busy?  That’s their “office” and they’re busting their ass to get you your food within 5 minutes so you don’t freak out and yell at them for slow service.  You know if you made that burger and fries yourself at home, it’d probably take at least half an hour, if not more?  Be grateful people.  If you have to sit at the drive-thru window for :heaven forbid: an extra FIVE minutes, I truly don’t think that you’re going to DIE of starvation or be so late for life that it gives you reason to yell at the person at the window and make them feel bad about themselves because you’re in too much of a hurry to appreciate the work they’re doing so that YOU can have your “fast” food.

What is WRONG with our country?  WHY are we called a “civilized” people, yet we treat each other like shit?  Yet the people living in Africa that live in huts and bushes and barely have enough to feed themselves… they are not civilized.  They’re not considered “civilized”, yet they treat their neighbors with love and respect, even to the point where they’d probably sacrifice the one piece of bread they have to give to the single mother next door.  THAT is “civilized”.  They greet each other and take the time to ask about your family (and really care about your response), but since they don’t have cars and big offices and fancy clothes… they’re not civilized.  WE are.  LOL

Just take a step back and open your eyes.  It really, truly does not matter how much of a hurry you’re in… you can still take a few extra seconds to let your ‘neighbor’ go before you, or take a few seconds to open the door for someone and let them pass through before you do.  Say “Thank you” to the next waiter/waitress or fast food employee that serves you and really make the effort to think about and realize what they do for you.  Don’t hurt your children when you’re frustrated with them.  Take the opportunity to teach them something about how to deal with frustration.  Your children learn from observation.  If you hurt them, they’re going to grow up thinking that’s how things are solved.  Just step back and take a few minutes to realize how lucky we all are to have the things we have and live in a “civilization” that allows us to be as rude and disrespectful as we WANT to be.  In some countries or back in the old days, if you treated people like that, you probably got beheaded.  Why don’t we just do that anymore?

I got an email today that I found humurous AND very true:

Only in America ……do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.


Only in America …..do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.


Only in America …..do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.


Only in America…..do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.


Only in America……do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.


Only in America …..do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.

1 Comment

  • Destiny, wow, I totally agree with you here, and also your comment on my post. It’s just so damn sad that people don’t give a crap. Excellent point about the food service workers. My brother is a server at iHop and his income depends on tips, he’s good at his job and yet people give him a two buck tip for a group of fifteen people. No kidding.

    DJ, I say we find a good and civilized place and move there. ASAP.

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