I’ve been wondering about something I hope you can shed some light on for me.
At what point in the last, say, forty or fifty years, did it become the norm for Americans to stop giving others the benefit of the doubt or even the simple courtesy of not jumping to conclusions in everyday situations? The Golden Rule seems broken to me.
Let me try to explain where I’m coming from.
Two weeks ago, I went to IKEA with the older boy, to get one more thing for his dorm room. One thing. Literally.
And so we went to the self-checkout registers.**
There were three registers open and in use, and so we stood there, patiently waiting for one to open up.
The one that became free first was the furthest one, and so we walked towards it, the older boy a couple steps ahead of me.
Suddenly, a man who had been standing soclose to another customer at one of the registers closer to us that we assumed they were together raised his voice and growled,
“HEY BUD, *I* WAS HERE FIRST!”
And then he stormed over to the open register.
My son and I both quickly said something along the lines of, “Oh, I’m sorry!” before backing up to where we were waiting a couple of seconds before. We had no idea that he was not with that other customer. Honest mistake.
So tell me, dear readers, WHY couldn’t he just say to us, in a normal tone of voice, “Oh, excuse me: I was already waiting.”
It’s not WHAT you say, it’s HOW you say it. And can’t we all just get along? I mean, seriously!
I am the first to admit that I am a very nice person (some would say too nice) and, on occasion, let people get away with more than they should be able to in order to avoid a confrontation, but isn’t there a happy medium somewhere? Why can’t people remember that you get what you give? Why can’t people give thought to the feelings of others before they speak or act? Are we THAT jaded as a society? Is it stress? Is it the economy***?
More importantly, can it be fixed?
*I’m not talking about those personnel who do a poor job and are rude: that’s another post for another day!
**WHAT IS IT WITH ME AND SELF-CHECKOUT REGISTERS???
***I do think this has been going on longer than the economic problems of late.
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