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May 20, 2011 - Michael Palmer
There was a time when people had respect for each other or at least pretended to. People don't respect other people like they use to. People today have a feeling that they are somehow entitled, and that self-importance, projects an attitude that no one else seems to matter.
rude /rud/ [rood] –adjective, rud·er, rud·est.
1. discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way: a rude reply.
2. without culture, learning, or refinement: rude, illiterate peasants.
3. rough in manners or behavior; unmannerly; uncouth a breach of etiquette.
Recently at a local village council meeting a member of the council told me in no uncertain terms that if I took her “#$@%” picture I would have my “#$@%” camera slapped right out of my “#$@%” hands.
This incident probably would not have upset as much if she had also told the nice young man from channel 7 that had been filming her for the past 20 minutes the same thing, but somehow it is just the still camera that upsets these people.
I say this because the same thing happened at a Bridgeport council meeting where a person who was speaking loudly and objecting to the council’s decisions was being filmed by two local television stations and then following the meeting confronted me and asked that I remove my memory card from the “#$@%&*@” camera and hand it over to him or he would break my “#$@%&*@” nose.
Once again this person seemed to have no problem with being on television, it was just being in the newspaper that seemed to upset him.
So what should we do when accosted with such crude actions?
Confronting the rude behavior in an equally rude manner may feel good, but it also brings us down to the other person’s level, a subterranean one, that includes being an insensitive jerk myself.
Thankfully, in both cases I was able to diffuse the situation by telling each person that despite their paranoia, they were not the subjects of the meeting and that they had no fear of being featured in the next day’s edition.
Then at a softball game this week a reporter from another newspaper came to stand beside me at the fence, with a pertinent question regarding the game, if it matters. During our conversation a fan from the opposing team called out to him, “Hey, You! Fat so-and-so. Move your fat blankity-blank.”
Upon turning around, no one wanted to claim responsibility for the comment, but perhaps more shocking was that all of the mothers, children and grandparents sitting alongside the perpetrator were complacently sitting, just seemingly unaware or unconcerned with the outburst of obscenity. Perhaps quietly thanking the rude jerk for removing the obstacle from their view of the batters warm up circle.
Seriously? Why the increased tolerance for disruptive behavior?
Could it be a sign that American society, as a whole, is in decline because of our lack of respect fro our fellow human beings?
Lack of manners can also stem from upbringing, in the case of the softball game I would guess that these parents are not teaching the same set of morals I was raised on.
Thankfully, there are still well mannered people and those who would stand up and object to such behavior. These people realize, that everybody deserves the respect that we ourselves want.
Which category do you fall into?
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