People, people, people... we need to talk... *heavy sigh* Welcome once again to the hallowed odeum of the Church of the Wayward Gypsy. Sit. Stay. Good flock.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T... find out what it means to me...
Whatever happened to our old friends Common Courtesy and Basic Decency? Is it so much to expect from each other? I'm beginning to think so. Maybe I was the only one "raised right." Well, me and a handful of others. A small handful. So small. Baby hands. Premie-baby hands.
Whatever happened to acknowledging a gift when it's bestowed? Easy really... a heartfelt thanks (hell, here's one where you get to fake it if you can't make it come), a phone call, a short note... no? How about giving recognition for a kindness? This morning at the gas station (poor starvin' Birddog!), a gentleman (there's a word you don't get to hear anymore!) opened the door for me. I looked him in the eyes, smiled and said, "Thank you!" He appeared shocked at my gratitude. Understandable. I've seen similar situations where the person shuffles by, barely muttering a curt "thanks." Said gent was obviously a blue collar worker, he being scruffy lookin' already at 5:30 a.m. No matter. He earned my R-E-S-P-E-C-T by extending a Common Courtesy based on Basic Decency, and I returned the gift. The exchange took perhaps 10 seconds.
Last week as I walked up to the entrance of the grocery store where the shopping carts are kept, I arrived seconds ahead of an elderly woman. Rather than grab a cart, jam past her and head for the goods, I grabbed a cart and handed it off to her with a smile and a Vanna White-eqsue sweep of the hand. The woman was very obviously utterly delighted. Score another for CC and BD! Again, the exchange took all of 10 seconds.
Again I haul out the ol' saw and ask, why is it that people (strangers) don't say hello to each other any more as they pass on the street? What is so dadgum difficult and dangerous and...and... invasive about nodding in someone's direction and saying, "howdy" ? ! It's a lonely old world, don't be so friggin' cheap.
See... I'm not talking about huge chunks of time out of the day, or about efforts that take gargantuan strength, or buckets of cash (the gods know I'd be totally screwed on CC and BD if they did!). As the saying goes, it's the little things.
Now, before y'all roll your eyes and give me the look, I will raise my hand and be the first to acknowledge that I'm no paragon of virtue. Yessiree, friends n' neighbors... I get busy, I get crabby, I forget. Sure, I do. However, by and large, I try hard to be aware of my fellow humans, and the notion that I - faulty and fallible as I am - may very well be the only beacon in someone's day. Why? It's ingrained in me - yeah, I was "raised right." Beyond that though, I've been on the flip side. After all, I'm the girl who woke up this morning, disenchantedly feeling like no one in the world ever gives a rat's ass about anything, and then suddenly there's a scruffy guy, holding what was surely a really lousy cup of gas station coffee and the door for me.
Thanks dude, whoever you are, for being my beacon on the all too dark shore of oh-god o'clock this morning.
Y'all get on out of here now. Go forth. Be kind.