Tag Archives: respect

In Praise of Those who Butt in Line

15 Jan

Why yes, older woman in the Orange shirt and Brown coat at the Coralville Mall (Coralville, IA), I do appreciate your going from fifth in line to first by deliberately bypassing everyone else.  Totally understandable!  And really, you accomplished so much with that move.  I mean, you saved yourself a 15 minute wait by merely increasing everyone else’s by five minutes each.  Pbhft, Hardly any cost whatsoever. In fact, you accomplished so much more than just enraging an entire crowd of people. 

You’ve shown the children with their mom at the front of the line the importance of shoving others out of your way when you want something.  Naturally, all those lessons about respecting your elders came in handy here; they really got to see an example of how they should live their lives when they’re your age. Of course, they’ll get in trouble at school when they copy your example, and, well, none of their friends are going to appreciate that. And well, their example to the other kids will lead to a new scene in 15 years where we have five people fighting and shoving over who goes first instead of a line at all. But that’s nothing! You showed them the best way to get what they want when they want it.  It’ll definitely help them in life.

Because really, your actions today were a shining way of encouraging and further developing the modern culture of “me, Me, ME!”  Nothing is more self-centered or self-absorbed than the person who thinks their time, attention, needs, and desires are more important than any one else’s. And that’s something we should all be contributing to today.  Be proud, you have just helped lead the way to a society that focuses even more on themselves all the time.  Of course, you’ll be perfectly charming when that teenager who was second in line here later decides to stop his car right behind yours for 20 minutes while waiting for a pick-up regardless of the fact that you were backing out.  I mean, he’s just following your example so you can hardly complain.  Nor will you say anything when the two young women who were third push themselves in front of you at the grocery store because they have a movie to catch. I mean, of course if your needs are so important, so are theirs.  I’m not really sure how you’ll handle it when the guy who was fourth gets in front of you to fill up his drinks, but I’m guessing it’ll be totally fine.  

On yet an even grander scale, you showed us an amazing sign of what humankind can do when it sets a goal.  I mean, the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids which symbolize the power of our ability to utilize math. The ancient Romans built an excellent legal system that the world still holds up as exemplary today. The ancient Chinese developed Buddhism, which embodies love, hope, and the potential of human spirit.  But for modern Americans, we’ve got you–and all your other line-butter friends– to destroy the entire concept of working together, respecting others, valuing everyone’s needs equally, indeed most of what a civil society is built on. You even managed to unify a Latino woman, African-American man, and two Caucasian women in their disgust with your behavior. Yep, you’re a real benefit to our society.  Bravo!

Tread Lightly When You Travel: My Reputation Goes With You

7 Aug
Traditional South Korean drummers

A traditional South Korean Band playing at a Red Cross Conference in

It seems counter-intuitive, but the art of being a good traveler is disappearing nearly as fast as globalization increases.  Having extensively traveled abroad in recent years, I can safely say that I no long wonder why tourists often rank amongst the most disliked people in the world. But it isn’t just the tourists; it’s the students, the businessmen, the soldiers, and the politicians. There is something about going abroad that causes many people to leave behind all the manners and rules of civilized behavior they would normally adopt at home.  And we get it, it’s nice to just abandon all your reservations and let loose once in a while. But people forget that they aren’t just representing themselves abroad; they are representing their entire nation and culture.  Even if nothing they do ever comes back to their families, the locals will remember “that idiot from ***** country”.  And when the locals have to watch over and over while the travelers repeat the same ignorant, reckless behavior, it becomes a stereotype applied to all traveler’s from that background.

“Oh, stop being such a sourpuss!,” the excuses run. “We’re just having fun.” “We’re paying good money to be here.” “Who cares what they think?”  Well, serious travelers care, for one.  I personally am sick and tired of being brushed with the “stupid, rude, careless, obnoxious, disrespectful, American tourist” stamp. Over and over, I enter a new country only to find that the travelers before me were wildly and Continue reading

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