15 September 2008

Monday Musings...
After a brief bout of (what else?) computer woes, we're back up at 100% (until the next virus that my firewall can't stop, and my anti-virus software doesn't recognize), and a good thing too. I wasn't at all content with logging onto the internet via dailup at a mere 28.8 K (especially with a 56.6K modem), because of AOHELL!
I was going to gripe, piss and moan about technology (again), but I'm doing a work up on that for another day.
Instead, I'll focus on the lack of common courtesy which prevails on the south side of Fort Wayne in general, and my neighborhood in particular (again).
Now when I was growing up (back in the Pleistocene Age), we DID have something we called "courtesy". Whether it was holding a door for an older person (which could anyone over the age of 25 back then), saying "excuse me", or the often used "please" or "thank you", most ALL of us said it with thinking about it.
Call it an inherited "involuntary" trait...kind like blinking or breathing, except that we were TAUGHT it by our parents, teachers, relatives,and anyone else that gave a damn...and that was a helluva lot more people than we see today.
As a result of those tumultuous "nuclear family" days, I ascribed to my parents wishes, because (as they so often told me) "It was for your own good". So, in spite of our youthful haughtiness, we sucked it in, and went along with the "program".
And we came out the other side none the worse for wear.
It must have been the fact that be (rightfully) believed that since we were the product OF our parents, anything we did, good or bad, would "reflect" on them. And rightly so. I've never had any difficulty with being able to "man up" and be a good citizen of the human race. Hell, it's a lot easier to do so, than to be a bad apple. The consequences are a lot easier to deal with when you're on the right side of the fence, anyway, in spite of the axiom that states: "No good deed ever goes unpunished"..LOL!
Most of this stemmed from showing courtesy to others (and usually receiving it in kind). Even when your courtesy was met with disdain, it still made you feel good, due to the fact that you must have shamed this person into acting like the dumbass they obviously demonstrated to you by their behavior. Remember, it's "nurture" as well as "nature" that will define every one of us.
Today's world seems a bit incomplete though when you mention courtesy...or even courtesy's close relative, namely respect.
Now I can't speak for all the people of this city, as I haven't quite met all of them yet, but I can speak to those in my immediate area, and what has been revealed to me cuts me to the quick (unless I had a "Pedicure" nail grinder for the cats).
I have been to many places where people didn't know ME from ADAM (of biblical notoriety), and yet, because of THEIR upbringing, demonstrated to be one of the fundamentals of the human condition, that being courtesy. And it wasn't a waiter doing his "job thing", either. It could just be someone, allowing me to go in front of them in line at a checkout, or holding a door for me (do I look that old?). It can be the "unseen" things, such as NOT tossing that can on the lawn when it's empty, but waiting until they pass a receptacle for that bit of trash. It can be a friendly nod, or a cordial "Morning...How's it going?", but whatever the case, it reminds me of that simpler time.
A time when a lot more of us felt likewise, and acted likewise.
Around my area, sadly, we have little if none of that.
The closest I may get to courtesy (being shown) is some local urchin tossing their can at the CURB, instead of my lawn (big frigging whoop). The closest thing to any type of "salutation" might be an offhanded, mumbled "hey" when I'm raking leaves.
And my Dad always used to say "Hey is for HORSES"...! Maybe that's why we in Philly always went with the traditional "YO" in it's place.
I mean I always say "morning" to people passing by, if they appear to be receptive...and close to acting human as well. I'd be wasting my time handing out greetings to wild animals anyway...I know, I tried that at the zoo when I was a kid...got nowhere with ANY of the animals.
There were a few BEARS that used to "wave", though.
But you have to acknowledge that common courtesy is missing from much of today's world. You might not notice it AS MUCH in a smaller town, or even a tightly bonded neighborhood, where everyone knows everyone else.
And is showing courtesy all that bad for us?
I haven't seen ONE TV AD for ANY "med" that combats the LACK of courtesy (maybe we need one?), nor have I seen any such AD that lists (as a side effect) the lack of courtesy (along with migraines, decreased urine flow, and mood swings)...have you?
So WTF is the story here?
WHY aren't we still seeing the level of courtesy (and respect) we USED to see?
Oh, we can point fingers until they fall off, and perhaps never find a definitive answer. Much of what we think would be mere symptoms of a much larger "illness".
And like any good doctor will tell you...once you can diagnose the disease, then you can tackle the job of seeking a cure.
Problem is, many people in MY area, must honestly enjoy being "sick", for I don't see any willingness on their part to "get cured".
And when ANY person is content to remain ill, rather then seek wellness, that speaks volumes as to the state of a society.
And since we have enough "goofballs" already, shouldn't it be time to try some "alternative medicine"?
At this point, it sure as hell couldn't hurt.
Of course, that would be the "courteous" thing to do...right?


Anonymous said...

Yo...or is it Oy!!

I am beginning to think that you are not the Mr. Rogers of your neighborhood!


Bobby G. said...


Oh, you have NO idea what a "beautiful day in the neighborhood" REALLY means around here...!

Be thankful of that.

Thanks for the comment.