|Forum topic by mot||posted 07-06-2007 06:36 PM||1416 views||0 times favorited||28 replies|
07-06-2007 06:36 PM
I was driving to work today. I had my kids and was dropping them off with my mom and dad. As I approached a busy local intersection, the car in front of my ran the stop sign. They continued on. It’s a 4 way stop. The car to the right of me also ran their stop sign. The intersection was finally clear so I proceeded. My 8 year old asked, “Aren’t they supposed to stop at those?” I said, “Yes.” She asked, “Why didn’t they?” I replied, “I’m not sure, little one, but always make sure you stop at stop signs.” She says, “You never know what the other person is going to do,” and puts her ipod back on. (I hate those things.)
We came up to an area that is being developed. There are lots of big machines moving dirt and dump trucks. My 2 year old loves machines. I decided that we had some time, so I pulled over so he could watch. I rolled down the window so he could hear the sounds of the machines. My daughter turned up her ipod. Then a man that was sitting behind the wheel of a dump truck yelled, “What the F$&% are you looking at?” I’m glad I took the time to stop. Then I listened to my 2 year old say, ” F$&%, F$&%, F$&%, F$&%, F$&%, F$&%, F$&%, F$&%” He’s 2. If I try and tell him not to say that, he’ll never stop. Much to my daughters dismay, and to my delight, he finally stopped.
I carried on through our normal route when I came across a barricade. There was not warning, no signs, just road blocks. I laughed to myself because, now I’m late. I had lots of time before…not I don’t. We drove past the construction sight again and the friendly fellow in the truck flipped me the bird. I waved back. As I drove the “back way,” along an 80Km/h road, there was a fellow driving 30Km/h. Great. I turned off because that’s just silly. I end up behind a street cleaner going 5km/h. Not a great trade. I come up to a four way stop and the car to my left, in a brilliant display of impatience, rolled the stop sign to make sure they saved that 12 seconds they would have had to wait allowing me to proceed. I looked back at my daughter. She rolled her eyes. We proceeded.
After getting the kids settled at my parents, I headed back to work. I’m only 5 minutes late, but that’s actually a big deal. Now I’m actually 25 minutes behind. Don’t ask. This is only going to get worse as now I’m writing this. I need that 15 minutes of time to myself. Have a coffee. Read some email. Look at the schedule. It’s self indulgent, but I’m not pretending it’s anything else.
I was listening to the radio. The announcer was interviewing some author. She wrote a book about how we have forgotten how to have fun. We are obsessed with money, taking our blood pressure and how much time we spend on our treadmills. I had to start laughing. It’s a pretty shallow viewpoint, but it’s not wrong. It’s not complete, but also not wrong.
Is this age of self importance, greed and a general absence of common courtesy, a healthy way to live. The adoption of the McDonald’s drive-thru mentality to living. Instant gratification. Over the top impatience. A basic premiss that the 7 deadly sins are becoming a way of life. The credo that the difference between right and wrong is what we think we can get away with. I don’t live that way. I know that my friends at LJ don’t think that way, but man? What’s a fellow to do.
Take some time, smell a flower, say hello to stranger, smile at a child, pet a dog, enjoy the breeze on your face and appreciate what’s around you….
Last story: I was walking down the mainstreet of my hometown with a visiting priest from Nigeria. We were talking about something or other. We met a man, as you would when walking down a street. We met eyes. I said, “Good morning!” He said, “Morning, have a great day!” I walked on. Father Victor says, “Who was that?” I said, “I have no idea. I’ve never seen him before.” He asked, “Then why did you greet him?” I had to ponder that for awhile. I said “When two strangers meet on a sidewalk, they are both a little nervous. A friendly greeting relaxes both and it becomes an important positive interaction in a day. Walking past someone and not saying anything is soon forgotten. An exchange of smiles and a simple hello, is memorable.” He said, “In Nigeria, we keep our head down and don’t talk to strangers.” I asked him why? He said, you don’t want to get mugged. I must live in La La Land.
I’m just rambling now…
-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)