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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Civility or Lack Thereof


I was recently offended on my drive to play golf last week. Two other drivers were courteous and I didn’t witness a single witless driver. I was offended because it is so annoying that courtesy is so rare that you notice it when it occurs.

This morning on the way to breakfast someone was courteous. Two were flat out rude. One portly young man in his large, tricked out SUV made sure he blocked the exit drive from the strip mall I was leaving. Considering the fact that my left signal was on, I wasn’t going to get in front of him or slow him down and he looked at me as he approached and then turned his head when he stopped directly in front of me, I surmise it was just rudeness. The other idiot felt obliged to blow his horn at the courteous driver who stopped her car and waved me, the pedestrian, to cross in front of her. I smiled and waved at him, in spite of my inclination to flip him the single digit salute.

In the interest of fairness I’ve tried to puzzle out what fuels the lack of civility that often seems rampant. I’m sure people have economic woes preying on their mind. I suspect that many are oblivious as opposed to rude. Some folks are so busy conversing on the cell phone, eating their lunch or putting on their makeup that secondary tasks such as driving courteously escape their notice.

The flip side is that yesterday several strangers assisted my wife in a parking issue. Albeit she is much, much more attractive than I am, they may have been just as courteous to me.

Where you might wonder is this tirade going?

Don’t know, wish I did. I try to be courteous in all things, let alone behind the wheel. I have made a conscious refrain from expressing my frequent outrage by sordid hand gestures due to both courteous restraint and the number of nuts with guns. I guess where this is going is that it would be great if we could all try harder to insert some civility into our daily life. It wouldn’t change the world but it would make it a much more civilized place to live.

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