Wow. . .

So, Thursday today.

Huh.

Not super clear about where Tuesday and Wednesday went.

One of the things I have been thinking about all week is self-absorption. It seems clear to me that, as a society, we have become spectacularly good at not noticing the needs of those around us. We do what works for us, and the old fashioned idea that you might cause inconvenience for others by doing something, and therefore you should not do it, is no longer important.

If I needed any proof of this, it would be the week I have spent with the minion. The minion broke his ankle about 3 weeks ago, and this was his first trip out on the road. He has his foot in an air cast and he is on crutches and while he tries to be as self contained as possible, the guy cannot carry a cup of coffee by himself. Doors are a pain, stairs are treacherous and he doesn’t move quickly.

I have watched how rude we have become. Someone who patently sees him coming, cuts in front of him to get through the door first and then can’t even hold the door open.

The person who is so unaware of their surroundings, so focused on their phone, that they bump into him. It’s uncomfortable when someone jostles you. It’s agony when the foot that got jostled is held together with a pin.

I am bewildered. A no little bit angry. More than once I have wanted to go hustling after a person and whack them about the head with my purse.

I have no solutions to this. It truly does seem that we have become an everyone for themselves sort of world. Whatever you do is ok, as long as you aren’t inconvenienced. What on earth are we doing wrong that this sort of behaviour is wrong?

And what on earth do we have to do to make the notion of self sacrifice, obligation and inconvenience for the sake of others cool again?

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5 Responses to Wow. . .

  1. JP says:

    I’ve thought awareness and compassion for others was a small group phenomena not typically found in crowds and cities and not actually a thing that has changed with time.

  2. a says:

    I don’t understand why it’s considered a sacrifice to take note of others, and acknowledge their needs. It’s a benefit to us to do small kind deeds for others. Especially when they’re essentially cost free – like opening a door for someone.

  3. JP says:

    Sadly things like holding open a door for a stranger are not cost free. Those are the kind of human interactions hucksters and worse use to identify targets and use a naive person’s sense of politeness against them. That’s why in crowds of strangers those actions are much less common. They are much less safe.

  4. debby says:

    I’m not from the big city, but I don’t think it’s about safety, and I don’t think that being rude makes you exempt from hucksters. I understand your wonderings and all I can say is that we’ve got to be the change we wish to see. We do the right thing, the kind thing, the generous thing, and trust that God is doing something with it.

  5. Alexicographer says:

    @JP — huh? Holding a door open for a stranger (in a public, unrestricted space, where people are coming and going, not a locked-down building obviously) should be standard practice (indeed, where I live it is), making it impossible to use as a strategy for identifying targets.

    I’m in the US SE, Mrs. Spit, and my sense is that here at least, behavior has not deteriorated the way you describe. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we have everything perfect in these parts, either — we’re a lot more likely to shoot you (on purpose or by accident) and we don’t believe in basic things like gay rights (or voting rights, or education, to judge from our current state legislature), so there’s that to factor in.

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