I got to people watch last week and I don’t think I’m going to surprise anyone by the following observation –
At first glance, there appears to be an increase in instances where coarseness and rudeness direct our everyday interactions with one another. I watched a number of people in the airport push their way around the person in front of them. Rather than wait for an opening in the oncoming crowd, these folks decided their journey was so important that they needed to rudely push their way past the obstacle they had determined was in their way. I’ve seen the same behavior when driving. I admit my temper almost got the best of me the other week when someone blasted past me on the interstate, driving on the shoulder and kicking up all kinds of gravel and debris. I now have a stone chip in my windshield that needs to be repaired. Whoever it was got to squeeze in between the car ahead of me and my car. I suppose he achieved his goal, whatever it was.
Being the eternal optimist that I am and believing that people are not generally rude or coarse for no reason, I know that stories about people behaving badly get more air time and social media time than stories where everyday people are treating one another with kindness and respect. The observation of people pushing past others in a mad rush to get out of the airport is offset by the more frequent observation of people taking their time, stopping to help someone obviously struggling with too much luggage, young children, and an airport that apparently has absorbed the entire population of the state of California squeezed into one terminal between Gates A6 and A17. We need to continue to be kind. It sets a wonderful example for others, especially our children. I’ve faced rudeness and coarseness before. For right now I’m going to continue to follow the philosophy of refusing to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed individual. Helps keep my stress levels under control.