I initially thought it was just me. Just me getting older, more rigid and less forgiving. But as I starting actually talking about it, I found I was not the only one thinking that there has been a shifting of the way people interact with each other. In a time of increasing dependence on social media (sorry, I’m not there yet), it would seem that in person, people actually have less and less to do with those around them – almost like no one else exists. In reality, it is really more that I think most people have reached a point where they only consider themselves, what they need (want) and expend little, if any, energy in recognizing others with whom they interact, directly or indirectly.
I think times have gotten tougher than most any other time in my life (if I take personal challenges that are a normal part of development out of consideration) and the conditions and challenges we deal with are probably more complicated and impactful than most people in this country have seen in at least my lifetime. That is almost an excuse – but not really. Tough times call for flexibility, resolve and finding the path forward – not getting rude and obnoxious, not failing to recognize that ignoring those around you might feel better but actually decrements the overall human experience. And it’s not the hard stuff. It is the easy stuff – not using your blinker when coming up to a turn, walking two across in an aisle that is only wide enough for two – and not adjusting when someone is coming from the other direction, leaving your grocery cart in the middle of the aisle while you wander off looking for something, leaving your mess on a table in the mall food court, leaving your shopping cart in the parking space next to your car – worse yet when that space is a handicapped space. I could go on and on but I expect you can all easily come up with those examples that make you shake your head in disbelief. Unless of course you are one of them.
I think it is time to raise our collective voice and call these people out. Make it clear it is unacceptable. A tough step forward given most of these people are either stupid, ignorant, in denial or worse yet, don’t really care (or all of the above).
Make it known that we are all not like that. If we can’t get the easy stuff, the hard stuff that really is difficult becomes impossible – and I don’t want to believe that.