by Annette Dashofy
I’ve long maintained that common courtesy is extremely uncommon. But disrespect seems to be evolving (DEvolving) into a way of life for many. People in stores prefer to talk on their cell phone than to thank the clerk who just waited on them. In the parking lot, drivers are in such a hurry to get in or out of there, they won’t slow down for pedestrians or other drivers trying to back out of a space. Their time is obviously more valuable than everyone else’s.
Public rudeness has come to the front of the news in the last few days. From that moron congressman who felt the need to shout his opinion to the world during President Obama’s speech (not to mention all his cronies who sat on their hands like obstinate school children), to Serena Williams’ hissy fit, to Kanye West throwing verbal cold water on Taylor Swift’s big moment in the spotlight.
What is going on here?
This past weekend, I spent a day with a couple of fellow Pennwriters, manning a booth at a bookfest. We were having a nice time, chatting up passersby and visiting with friends we don’t see that often. A man came over to check out some of my friend’s photography, which she had on display and for sale. He noticed her name and made a rather nasty comment about it. We looked at him as if he’d grown a third eye. Was this guy simply a clueless moron or was he intentionally being disrespectful?
My friend handled the situation gracefully, pointing out his mistake in the translation of the language. Without apologizing, he grunted and moved on. To antagonize someone else, I assume.
I remember when my dad was suffering from the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s; he lost his ability to self-edit. Whatever stupid (and sometimes hurtful) thing popped into his mind came directly off his tongue. We learned to shrug it off as part of the disease.
So what excuse do these people have? Brain damage?
Now there’s a thought!