Joy to the World! Peace on Earth! Goodwill toward Men! Joy, Peace and Goodwill. These are three words that were penned in the Bible before shopping malls and mega super stores.
Ok, yes, I do understand that it is not Christmas and no, I am not falling victim to the crush of Christmas advertising that is about to begin. I was just in a good mood because I can once again smell fall coming on and fall brings winter and winter brings the various holidays. I told my wife about three weeks ago that I can smell fall coming on and she thought I was crazy because she can’t smell, but there are probably a few of you that know what I mean.
Many years ago I went to our local Walmart during the Christmas rush and saw an event that made me chuckle about those three words I mentioned above.
During the past several years I’m sure we can all attest to the fact that a lot of common courtesies have went by the wayside. It’s sad but true.
There was a time when real men removed their hats or caps before entering a building. There was a time when a man would open a door for a woman and in return the woman would politely say thank you. Men would give up their seat for a lady and most everybody would give up their seat for a pregnant woman. We would all say ma’am and sir to each other and the young people would always address their elders by Mr. or Mrs. until instructed to do otherwise. Thank you and you’re welcome were part of our every day vocabulary. Some people call it southern hospitality and I personally still adhere to the old rules of etiquette. It’s sad however that in today’s society these things are missing because each time we lower our standards a little bit something else also tends to fall away and our standards get lower and lower. We are quickly becoming a low standards country.
Look at our driving habits! Have they improved? Our parking habits, our walking habits, our talking habits and many other things have moved further and further towards the lowered bar of living and I think a lot of it has to do with the “me first attitude.”
I was walking through this parking lot when I heard a man hollering something from his truck. His window was down and his arm was hanging out the window and he was thrashing and waving his hands, muttering something about the woman stopped in front of him. He was driving down the parking lot aisles and she was waiting on a parking spot. Problem was however that she had taken up both lanes and she didn’t have her blinker on to indicate her intentions. Now I know some of you think I’m being silly, but if people would just use the signal indicators (remember they are technically called indicators and not blinkers because they indicate your intentions of what you want to do with your car) then this guy may have had a little more patience.
After hearing his mutterings, I stopped to watch. For about thirty seconds he was hollering out the window “all I want to do is get out of this parking lot and she has it all tied up!”
Common courtesy and common sense would tell me that if I were waiting for a parking spot I would be pulled over to the right hand side of the traffic lane so people could pass me on the left, but not this woman. Her car was stopped right in the middle of the center line and she was waiting on the people in a parked car, so she could take their spot. That’s fine and I know she was probably worried about some sorry dude coming in and jumping in front of her but she lacked the courtesy to think about the people behind her.
Thirty seconds turned to one minute and the traffic behind her had increased to six stopped cars. Six cars went to eight and then within another thirty seconds the people trying to get off the main road were blocked. It was becoming a dangerous situation and all the while the man in the truck was still yelling and hollering because he couldn’t pull around her to get off the lot.
Another woman walking toward her car saw the situation and she politely walked up to the ladies car that was blocking the traffic and gently tapped on her window, as the lady was looking at herself in her vanity mirror waiting for her parking spot. The lady explained to her she was making the traffic situation really bad and the woman in the car simply shrugged her shoulders as if she didn’t care and rolled up her window. She continued to wait, while not one time making any attempt to move over just two foot so everybody could pass her!
After watching this thing play out for about two minutes I was almost to the point of going over to this ladies car myself and asking her to move. She had no clue about the problems that she was causing and by now it seemed obvious to me she was part of the “me first generation.” She really didn’t care! She finally got her parking space and the congestion was finally cleared without further incidence.
I turned and walked away and began to hum the tune of Joy to the World! I chuckled out loud wondering how many people today are really joyful about the holidays.
As for me, I’ll probably be laboring this Labor Day.