There are a lot of good people doing a lot of good things these days. Frontline workers of all sorts, civil servant such as police and firemen, and anyone who keeps going to a job every day knowing their exposure to the public could be harmful to their health.
But while many good things are going on, there are several personality traits keeping things from being better than they are. The political divide is something that widens more and more each day, and will not be solved regardless of how many words wind up in today's blog. But something that can be fixed if people just take a look at themselves and what they're doing is selfishness -- a horribly increasing quality in far too many people that makes all of the other problems even worse.
I notice several areas in my life where selfishness rears its ugly head, some obviously more harmful than others. Still, they are all annoying and rude and need to be eliminated.
Here are a few:
- The great mask debate -- People can and will think what they want, but the selfishness shown by too many people in debating this topic is sickening. There may be a very small percentage of people whose actual health problems make wearing a mask unbearable. Small children definitely fit into this category. But the greater number of misguided people who somehow transfer the recommendation (now a mandate in Indiana and many other areas) of wearing masks to both prevent your face from getting the virus and from you potentially giving it to others is staggering. The whole "slippery slope" concept in which the government requiring mask usage will eventually become chips implanted into our bodies to monitor and track our every move is just ridiculous. Both my wife and I are at high risk for COVID-19 and we wear masks regularly, both to keep ourselves from getting it or from giving it to others if we have it and don't know it yet. In no way am I claiming that masks are 100 percent perfect in completely eliminating the chance of getting the virus. My only response to the naysayers is that wearing any kind of mask (paper, cloth, handkerchief, etc.) is 100 percent better than wearing nothing. As I put in a social post recently in response to someone saying he would never wear a mask, if I'm wrong then all that has been wasted is a little comfort and a few dollars to pay for masks. But if the naysayers are wrong, they could pay for it with their life. I implore everyone to think of wearing a mask as our ticket to getting out of this nightmare of a lifestyle that we have now so we can get back to the one we had before.
- Smoking -- This one absolutely floors me. You couldn't pay me to smoke, and many people I know who have fallen into this horrible habit wish they could quit but can't. I grew up in a smoky household due to my mother, who finally lost her life to lung cancer (100 percent related to smoking, the doctor saids) after it reduced her 5-foot-9 body down to 68 pounds. Fortunately, laws have been passed in many places preventing smoking in public areas such as restaurants that make it easier to breathe there. But the people who offend me the most are likes ones at an outdoor graduation party my wife and I attended over the weekend. We were at a county park with picnic tables under a shelter, and things were great until someone sat down at the next table and lit one up. No consideration was given for anyone sitting nearby and if this toxic, nasty smoke would offend. We moved to a different table and it was better, but we could still smell it and we had to leave. Kudos to you if you are one of the minority of smokers in such a situation who break away from a gathering to smoke in a place where it won't bother anybody else, and shame on you if you exhale your toxic smoke near other people without thinking about us.
- High beam headlights at night -- Clearly the third most important of the three items on this list is a pet peeve that many people probably don't share, but it's still bothersome. My eyes are very sensitive to light, and when an oncoming car has its high beam lights on at night it makes seeing anything nearly impossible for me. When this happens, I will quickly flip my brights on and off to alert the oncoming driver that he/she has forgotten to switch to low beam. People forget sometimes. I do about once a month, and when I realize it I quickly turn mine off until the other vehicle has passed me by. But some people refuse to lower their headlight beam even after six or seven short "flips" of my brights. I'm sure in many cases seeing oncoming bright lights does not bother them, so they don't think it's important. But after three or four times of flipping my lights up and down people should figure it out. It's just selfish behavior and is so easily fixable.
There are plenty of others, but these are the main ones. (I could go on and on about people who stop their shopping cart in the middle of an aisle or a major intersection in a grocery store to make or take a cell phone call that clearly has nothing to do with the shopping list. Just pull your cart over to the side, like I do, to allow traffic to slow more freely.) Let's all just be less selfish, and do things that will help the overall good of our lives instead of things that are just easier or better for us.