She’s not Wrong…

I found this in a comments section beneath some news story – I don’t recall which one as it’s nearly impossible to keep track of the bad news nowadays and frankly isn’t really relevant one way or another to what this lady had to say…and I took the liberty of editing for brevity.

“I keep saying the same thing, if you do not want to live in this country, leave, I am so tired of being told I have to adjust to their ways, I will not. I grew up in a society that had dress codes, codes for grooming, codes to live up to to get a decent job, codes to conduct myself like a lady and expect others to treat me like a lady, I will not stop using the codes I grew up with, life was better then, life had meaning then, we as a society treated each other better then, so I will refuse to accept the life that people are pushing on me now. I will not stop expecting a man to open a door, I will not stop teaching my grandchildren and great grandchildren to say yes ma’am and no sir, and if this society expects me to change then they have another thing to think about. This is not the way we are supposed to live with children killing old people, this country is better than that, and we as a people need to demand that this does not go away…<snip> I grew up in the country not in the city, so that might have been the difference, but I don’t believe that, it is up to the parent to teach the child no matter where they live. If you teach a child to disrespect by disrespecting that is what they will learn no matter if you live in the country or the city.”

She’s not wrong. Although I’m not a grand or great-grand parent and thus quite likely a couple generations behind this commenter, I too remember the “good old days” of manners, decorum and general decency.

I miss those days.

Sure, we’ve got all kinds of whiz-bang, newfangled ideas and services these days, but I would happily lose “streaming”, endless options of home delivery, social media and cell phones (just for a start!) to go back to when the vast majority of people were decent and the minority with their peculiar proclivities weren’t trying to shove their lifestyle down the throats of everyone else.

And while I am all for, and encourage “free expression” in one’s appearance, I think people need to understand, and ACCEPT that there are consequences for letting their freak flag fly.

If you are one of those folks inclined to get, say a face tattoo, more power to you. But if you come into my place of business looking for a job with a face tattoo? You won’t make it past the reception desk. We have a very particular clientele, that we deal with face-to-face, day in and day out, and they pay a boatload of money for the privilege. These people don’t care for face tattoos, (or long, unkempt beards, torn clothes, huge fake fingernails, ear gauges, etc.) and if we want to keep their business, we hire people our clients are comfortable with and confident in. End of story.

Some people will hear that and exclaim “that’s not fair!”, but I’d submit that it would be equally unfair to put employees in place that make our clients uncomfortable, especially when they are paying for a service.

For my 5+ decades on Earth, the saying ‘life isn’t fair’ has been widely acknowledged and accepted as truth, but over the last few years the very idea of what is or isn’t fair has been turned upside down.

Look, I get it. I am about as ‘anti-authority’ as they come, and I firmly believe in one’s right to choose THEIR own path, whatever that looks like (short of harming others, of course) however, just like with anything in life, choices have consequences. Just because I support your freedom to dress/talk/behave in the manner of your choosing, it doesn’t mean I have to like it, much less support poor behavior. At best, you’ll receive tolerance. At worst, I may openly laugh at your ridiculousness. That’s the cost you pay for freedom of expression. Some people will think you express the absurd.

I was a punk rock kid back in the early 1980’s, long before Hot Topic stores in every mall, and just walking around looking like my friends and I did back then was enough to get us harassed by the cops, ridiculed and mocked by the adults, refused service and/or entry to establishments and beaten up by the jocks. But did we go crying about it, looking for sympathy? Did we demand acceptance and special treatment because we were under represented? Hell no, it was the fire that forged us into the adults we became. It taught us to pick our battles, it taught us to make the difficult choices that had to be made, it taught us how to stand up for ourselves and for each other. It taught us that not everything and every place is for everyone, and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

What I see today is one adult after another, throwing tantrums and making demands. That’s not the way it works in real life, and anyone over the age of two should already know that.

If the 1970’s already has claim to the “Me Decade”, I’d have to say to 2020’s are shaping up to be the “Only Me, Scew You Decade”.

You see it everywhere, every day. Rudeness, inconsiderate behavior, a complete lack of awareness of the others around you. I’ve seen so many people lately being rude to wait staff and check-out clerks, it’s unreal. It’s a contagion.

We can, and should, be better than that. Holding open a door for someone is a simple kindness, it has nothing to do with “the patriarchy”. A smile or a friendly hello can go a long way. That is just common courtesy. If you see someone struggling for the top shelf in the market and you have the reach, offer to lend a hand! After all, if you were on the receiving end of any of those things, wouldn’t it give you a little glimmer of hope that our humanity for one another is still there?

Negativity begets negativity, perhaps courtesy and kindness can be contagious too. We ‘commoners’ have the cards stacked against us as it is, I think it’s in our best interest to make things a little less hostile, a little less vulgar.

You can be an outsider, an underrepresented-whatever-who-cares-what-your-kink-is and I say do your thing, but you have no place to demand I or others don’t think you’re a weirdo. And throwing fits because people don’t celebrate your “specialness” is no way to get them on your side. And it certainly doesn’t give you a pass to be a prick.

Accept others as you would be accepted. If they don’t like you because of your lifestyle/creed/tribe/insert., give them something TO like you for. Kill ’em with kindness, as the Mrs. likes to tell me. As the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Manners, good hygiene and courtesy will get you a lot further in life than a hissy fit will. Nothing will turn a person off more than badgering them with your unsolicited dogma. Like it or not, we’re all in this together, might as well make the best of it. Just something to think about.

Thanks for stopping by.

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