Okay, it is Big Beef Week, and I am not talking about red meat. Why has it become the norm to take the low road? I am guessing it has always been the norm and that maturity and experience have fogged my rose-colored glasses and jaded me into finally seeing rudeness for what it is – rude.
I was recently off on a full week of vacation. I did not realize how much I needed a break. While I am a very regimented creature of habit, I found myself sleeping until mid-morning almost every day. Every. Single. Day. Can you imagine? I cannot remember the last time my internal body clock did not sound a 5:30 a.m. blaring alarm. I must have needed additional rest and it was incredibly sweet.
Time off affords you the ability to relax and savor the small stuff. Every day I would gather my laptop and take an hour of solitude to render my thoughts to paper. I expected a grand, productive blog week. Strangely, however, instead of documenting free-flowing thoughts I found myself rendering the sounds of silence to my soul. It was peacefully blissful. Even the most contented soul needs solitude sometimes.
Once you finally break from a normal routine, your senses are very aware of change. Sights, sounds, smells, emotions – all the usual triggers – melt into pleasantries. The birds singing, mowers whirring, even the quiet hum of a ceiling fan are surprisingly calming. What a shame that amid life’s seemingly constant chaos, appreciating life’s perfections gets lost in the shuffle.
Ah, but back to the low road. During this sumptuous week, I was acutely more aware of my home surroundings. I heard my neighbors across the street screaming after midnight in their driveway. While specific words were not audible it was loud enough to wake me. And of course, the screaming of tires and slammed doors ended the 20-minute heated dialogue. I also witnessed another neighbor belittling her neighbor for apparently mumbling when speaking. Seriously? This person is struggling with being stabbed by an inmate at their prison guard job and suffers from obvious PTSD. What in the world ever happened to simple kindness and treating people with respect?
And then there is the grocery store episode. Anyone reading my blog knows it is without a doubt the one necessity of life I hate most of all. I tend to go early and wear invisible blinders while shopping to avoid eye contact with anyone. As number three in a long line of patrons with full carts waiting to check out, a cashier opens an extra register and the last in line (number five) rushes her cart to the new lane without any thought to those who have waited longer. I was not in a rush, but it still boggles the mind.
And, to add insult to injury, as I load my car and leave, another shopper is pushing her cart to her car, parked in the north forty, right down the middle of the road oblivious to my car nipping at her heels. Again, I was not in a rush, but doesn’t common sense (not to mention common courtesy) say “get out of the road so people can pass?” Or better yet, “get out of the road so some idiot doesn’t run you over!”
Without deliberate elements of self-control and random acts of kindness, rudeness just perpetuates rudeness, doesn’t it? Next time you are intent on pitching a belly-aching tirade about everything in your life, just take a chill pill, close your door, or blast your ear pods to stop the psychobabble. If you learn to focus on your own faults, maybe the faults of others will loom minuscule. It works for me.
In retrospect, I think I really should have made Big Beef Week about red meat . . . it would have been deliciously more juicy. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
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