Take this recent dining experience—I’m sitting with the one I love, sifting through my salad, enjoying “normal” conversation, when this sudden noise, this garish shriek of uninteresting garbage, this overloud television commercial of a human being intrudes upon my space to share their day’s events with me, instead of quietly with the person across from them.
I find myself asking an unanswerable question: “Why does this clueless fool feel the need to share their banal personal life with the rest of us?”
Sadly, I always conclude with the obvious:
“Because they appear to indeed be clueless.”
At least I hope that’s why. Because if ignorance is not the reason for being one of those loud-talking louts who interrupt (dare I say sabotage?) decent social behavior, then the only other conclusion would be selfishness, rudeness, or maybe just plain mean arrogance.
That is a rather frightening thought.
To those scary souls I say:
But it’s not just in restaurants, not just clueless loud-talkers, sharing endless streams of trite drivel. How about those cell phone gum-flappers? Or those parents who publicly scream at their kids? You know the ones that must be suffering from a mild case of amnesia, thinking that they are in their living rooms as they demand that little Sally or Bobby—for the tenth time!—pick up that toy RIGHT NOW! ONE…TWO…Don’t make me count to THREE!
There is a rudeness going around these days, like a virus, only one with no hypodermic needle available as a remedy for this bizarre epidemic. I say bizarre because the solution is simple manners, common decency, and the ability to differentiate between acceptable public behavior and the unacceptable.
But that’s just it. Sadly, again, I am not sure enough people actually understand what acceptable public behavior is anymore.
Blame can be doled out in several places, starting with the breakdown of family values. These things need to be taught at home, at the beginning of one’s early development, as necessary as learning to read or walk.
Technology is an easy target. After all, with electronic communication and social networking readily available at the touch of one’s fingertips, folks feel that the world is in their living rooms. But is that any excuse for selfish, rude, intrusive behavior? Sadly, again, it is not.
Frankly, I’m befuddled. Because while I embrace having the world at my doorstep and fingertips, I have never used my cell phone in an intrusive, rude, or selfish manner. Never imagined doing so.
Leading me to conclude that this problem—be it loud-talkers in public places, rude cell phone barkers, heavy bass music blarers, or oversaturated cologne and perfume spritzers—is linked to the spirit, the essence of our existence. Basic tenets of decency taught to most of us…but somehow recently forgotten.
Simple, basic—HUMAN—behavioral traits like:
· Being charitable
· Common decency
Anyone who argues that they are all of the above yet exhibit any of the sad behavior mentioned in this post are not only fooling themselves, but polluting the world.
Think about it.
Until next time…
peace (and quiet),