Last week, as I dodged the myriad flying buzzing things on my walk, I had two near collisions with cars not looking both ways.
The first was less severe, since I anticipated the rolling stop, but I was still a bit miffed. The passenger, a young girl, looked shocked by the near-ruining of a lot of people’s morning.
The second, was dumbfounding. Having waited patiently for the crosswalk light, I was about 3/4 of the way across the street when a car came barreling into a right turn, presumably trying to beat the red light.
I stopped just in time and stared at the car. The passenger, a teen boy, rolled down the window and yelled an expletive at me as they flew by. It was my turn to be shocked. I thought he was rolling down the window to apologize.
Many are the memes and posts across social media decrying racial bias and disrespect of our law enforcement branches. Around those posts, though, you will find many more examples of the same lack of respect, unnecessary anger and misplaced righteousness that fuels the same thought process that can lead to those very acts.
Academics or historians might say that it all began to go south during the Nixon/Vietnam era, where people began to lose faith in their government and became jaded.
I’m not sure how many millenials are influenced by that era (or even know it exists), but it’s possible that distrust and disrespect filtered down from their parents.
Or, it could just be there are just more rude and self-centered people out there who lack a filter for their crassness. There’s nothing politically correct about being polite. It’s a virtue, not a drawback.
While there are some enlightened few that appreciate finding out that they are wrong (so they can improve), many more are either embarrassed or angered when confronted with an ugly truth. Sometimes that leads to a rude response. Sometimes that leads to something far more deadly than rudeness.
A lot of that potential danger and moral poison could be reduced if people took a step back and simply said, “My bad.”