The lovely and ever-fabulous Maggie invited me to a blogging group on Facebook, an invitation I am very flattered for. Today is my first go with a weekly topic idea that is presented each Sunday and luckily it's a no-brainer for me:
Disrespect. See also rudeness, selfishness, inability to be aware of a world of people also trying to live their lives just outside your personal bubble.
I feel so passionately about living a life that is aware of the multitude of lives trying to share one space that I couldn't possibly put all my thoughts down on the matter. They are plentiful and emotional and significant. What I will elaborate on is how distressing it is to fear the direction our collective societal train is heading. It is easy and common place for people to shirk responsibilities with the reasoning that someone else will be along, eventually, to clean up behind them. Be it literally (why clean the trash off of my table when I'm done eating, that's what this restaurant hires staff for) or otherwise (I'm going to do what I want regardless of how my decision may impact someone else) it is out of control. Admission of mistakes and acknowledgement of wrongdoings are replaced by phrases like, "Oh well, not my problem" or "They'll get over it".
Respect is simple and can manifest in so many ways. No thing is too small to deserve respect: time, belongings, emotions, differing opinions. They all deserve far more effort and attention than we give them.
What may be even more maddening than the act of selfishness itself are the people who accept is as the norm. "Well, that's just how things are now", or "Yes, it is sad but you just have to accept it". We should never accept a blatant lack of respect as any kind of norm. Being respectful and aware of everyone around you, whether they are a friend or relative or complete and total stranger that you may never see again we all deserve to be treated better.
I want to share a story that is a little bit of a stretch for this topic, but stay with me. After several months of belonging to a photography-based hobby forum site I was invited to join a group of members on a day trip out of town. Now, on this trip we made a snap decision to visit a second location for more photography goodness, a decision kindly considered ill-advised considering our lack of planning, the time of day and having way too many people try to enter at once. Things happened (the whole story requires its own post) and we thought we had been caught (you see, access to this location was not exactly legal). The majority of the group hit the ground running as fast as possible for our exit through a small hole in the fence. As fast as possible is a speed that differs greatly person to person, hence my shock and amazement that one person from the group looked over his shoulder, saw my struggle to keep up and deliberately slowed his pace so he could keep stride with me. So I wouldn't be alone. This might not seem like a big deal but we were basically strangers before that day and had we truly been discovered by the law he would have been risking himself to stick with me. You've got to admit it, that's not an action you see very often these days, especially when while participating in the hobby in question it is pretty much an unspoken rule that it's every man for himself and no one would blame you for looking out for Number One. I will never forget his simple action and the impact it made on me. In the midst of chaos, when he could have suffered for his decision, he altered his actions to look out for someone he hardly knew.
Now, wouldn't that be a nice norm?