Consideration nears extinction; what’s next?
A short while ago, I posted on my personal Facebook page a bit of a rant about the ever-increasing instances of inconsideration. A week later I witnessed what I consider one of the ultimate examples of inconsideration.
A woman parked in front of the entrance to the side parking lot at Lumberjack Stadium, blocking the only way to exit that parking lot. She trapped probably a couple hundred people for more than 45 minutes.
I took her picture and posted it on the Free Press Facebook page with the following information: “I would like to thank this woman for allowing me to meet a whole bunch of new friends tonight. She is so important that she parked her car in front of the only entrance/exit into the side parking lot at Lumberjack Stadium. No one could get out. Some waited for over an hour. She finally came back to her car at 9:45 p.m. … 45 minutes after graduation was over.”
The post got lots of “shares,” “likes” and “comments.”
One was from the woman herself (I’ll post it here verbatim. Disregard the capitalization/punctuation or lack thereof. I often take shortcuts on Facebook, too): “lol first of all i didnt matter if i came and moved it 2 hours after graduation cuz it was more dan one entrance, and yeah yall should have flipped the bitch over cuz all i was gone do was get another one, it got full coverage!”
Seems to me that this person wasn’t in the least embarrassed she caused such an inconvenience for so many people. Some said they missed movie dates; others had family get-togethers to go to; some just wanted to go home!
Now, school district officials will have to study the situation and decide after 90 years of graduations whether or not they have to have parking attendants or maybe even to have to move the ceremony to a larger venue that has better parking.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only instance of inconsideration at Diboll’s graduation. Many people standing under the stands carried on their own conversations during the commencement speeches … or spewed their critiques of what was said and how it was said. They were loud enough that it made it difficult to concentrate on what the speakers were saying.
I would bet that none of those people were anywhere as successful as those who were speaking.
What started my reflections on inconsideration, though, were the many instances of profanity in our society. To me, it is an indication of immaturity, ignorance, disregard-for-others. Yes, you have the right to use those words. I do on occasion. But, you also have the responsibility to take into consideration who will see or hear those words and how they will affect them. Are we to the point in our society that we disregard others just because we can?
A very intelligent young man I know replied that “It’s nothing more than a social stigma applied to the foundation of language. ‘Foul’ language is merely an individual expression. What constitutes foul language other than the taboo applied to it culturally?”
My reply to him was, “You inadvertently hit the nail on the head. Those of us who feel the use of profanity (just one example of social issues) without regard for others feelings are considered inflexible. We are now expected to be flexible enough to let people do whatever they want to do. Our feelings don’t matter. It is your right to speak the way you want in line at the grocery store; our only recourse is to bear it or move to another line. To not see it on Facebook, I would have to delete those who post it — even though I would miss some otherwise intelligent or humorous thoughts. At the gas pumps, to not have to listen to music at the decibel level of a space shuttle takeoff, I have to stop pumping and go and get gas elsewhere. I guarantee you there are more people who would rather not hear loud music or profanity than there are who feel the need to express themselves that way in public. They just don’t speak up.
Pretty soon we will be able to walk around nude because there’s really no reason to wear clothes … who cares who it offends. And trust me … me walking around without clothes would offend everyone!”
It’s maddening. It seems all we can do is just grit our teeth and bear it.
Here’s an excerpt from a book written in 1965 by of my favorite authors, John D. MacDonald, and from the mind of one of my favorite characters, Travis McGee: “New York is where it is going to begin, I think. You can see it coming. The insect experts have learned how it works with locusts. Until locust population reaches a certain density, they all act like grasshoppers. When the critical point is reached, they turn savage and swarm, and try to eat the world. We’re nearing a critical point. One day soon two strangers will bump into each other at high noon in the middle of New York. But this time they won’t snarl and go on. They will stop and stare and then leap at each others’ throats in a dreadful silence. The infection will spread outward from that point. Old ladies will crack skulls with their deadly handbags. Cars will plunge down the crowded sidewalks. Drivers will be torn out of their cars and stomped. It will spread to all the huge cities of the world, and by dawn of the next day where will be a horrid silence of sprawled bodies and tumbled vehicles, gutted buildings and a few wisps of smoke. And through that silence will prowl a few, a very few of the most powerful ones, ragged and bloody, slowly tracking each other down.”