Friday, September 5, 2014

Kim's Small Request Of All Humanity

Why Not?

Seems Reasonable. And, It's Not As If Anything Else Has Worked.
Over the recent holiday, a friend and I were talking about Life In Our City. We spoke ruefully about the number of humans -- resident, transient and tourist -- who seemed packed into the few square miles of this peninsula, and how generally aggressive (particularly in traffic), how quick to take offense, how eager people seemed to go on the offensive over the most trivial issues.  They fought so fiercely, the old homily goes, because the stakes were so small.

"It's general incivility," my friend said, and shook her head. "Some people just don't want to put out the effort to be polite -- and it does take some effort."

We agreed there were events still playing out in the world, a sense we had held since childhood about the perceived stability of things that we could feel, shifting now, right under our feet; my friend sighed and (as I've heard a number of mothers do) wondered about the future world her children would live in.

Then she described a recent altercation while driving, with her pre-teen daughter in the back seat, and having to suffer the antics of a classic Piltdown Man in traffic.

"Eventually, I was able to pull up beside him," she related, "and I maintained myself -- didn't call him a witless motherfucker. Didn't rant and rave. I just looked at him and said, 'Come on; could you just try not to be a Dick? D'you think?'  That was right from the heart. And naturally, he wouldn't look at me."

As I'm fond of saying, about three people (four, if you count Mistah Charlie, Phd.) and a Superintelligent Parakeet read this blog. It informs no one, influences no one. It is not about to become the spark from which the global equivalent of the Slow Food Movement in politeness begins.

But my friend has a point. And yes, it looks very simple.  I'm only a Dog -- but I actually think she's on to something, because how one changes behavior, at times,  seem that simple to me. It's the Yoda theorem:  Be A Dick You Must Not.

So, for all of us -- from the Pope and the Dali Lama, all the way down to you and me; all of us -- Just Try Not To Be A Dick.

And -- pass it on. Perhaps we can get something started here.
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