Thursday, January 27, 2011

Be Excellent To Each Other


Example 1: A week or so ago, I was in line to get gas at one of the only local places that pumps for you and is relatively cheap.  Based on these criteria, it's generally pretty crowded there.  I noticed a two-pumper where the car in front was pulling away.  I threaded my car between the car at the rear pump and one in the next aisle, pulled the lever to open my little gas door, and waited for the attendant.  He appeared a moment later and I lowered my window to ask for him to fill it, regular.

Instead, he told me I'd actually cut the line. I apologized and asked him to close my gas door as I placed the car back in Drive.  As I did so, the woman I'd inadvertently cut hung out the driver's side of her Buick and yelled "Hey, Asshole!  Move your car!".  The attendant kindly informed her that I didn't know and was moving - and that there was no need to swear.  She responded with "Oh.  Never mind." while I circled around to take my place behind her, remaining silent.

Example 2: I was at Stop and Shop just past Frozen Corn, guiding my shopping car into the hairpin turn toward Orange Juice and English Muffins.  As happens all the time at the grocery store, I nearly collided with another shopper coming the opposite way.  I smiled the polite apology smile and he mutters "Jesus-Fucking-Christ" under his breath. 

The economy is improving at a snail's pace, we're at war, and people are shooting congress members and ordinary citizens with automatic weapons at supermarkets. It's damn cold. Around here, we've got at least three feet of solid ice piled up along every roadside and driveway.  New storms have been coming in with a frequency of about once a week.  I get it. 

But is this what it's come down to?  I mean, I'm from Boston.  In a recent survey, we were voted the sixth rudest city in America. I can take it. But is this how we want to treat one another?  Is this what we want our kids to see and think is normal?

I just need to put it out there and hope that if enough of us do, more will come around:

Be excellent to each other.

10 comments:

Otter Thomas said...

You pulled me in with an awesome Bill and Ted reference but the sentiment of this post was far better than that. I often bemoan the fall of society. It is so bad that I am shocked when someone is actually nice to me. It blows me away. I hope there are more people out there like you that will give "being excellent" a try.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Well, damn. Now I feel guilty about cursing (under my breath, but still) the very slow old people that shop at Costco on my lunch hour.

Sue @ Laundry for Six said...

Yes! Love this!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

So true! I feel that in pretty much all circles. People don't assume good intentions or look for positive side very often do they? Stories like these remind me to slow down and be kinder.

Mrs. Tuna said...

Sometimes when you're extra nice people are surprised and respond in kind. That of course never happens to me.

merlotmom said...

Those people are just rude bastards. Oops. Kinda missed the point, huh?

Jason, as himself said...

Agreed. There is no reason to be so rude. Everyone just needs to take a deep breath and relax. Myself included, sometimes.

Kristen said...

I'm so depressed now.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

You'll be happy to know your fellow Stop and Shop shopper has relocated and is now cursing (at me) in the aisles of my Safeway.

On the flip side, if I ever (EVER) get a thank you wave while driving, it can make my day.

Life As I Know It said...

Good reminder. After living in New Jersey, Virginia and MA, I would MA as the most unfriendly. Weather? or stoic new england culture? I dunno..I'm with you though, we need to treat each other better.

Hope you have been well!

 

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