Maybe it’s just me, but my daily interactions with other people occupying the same planet lead me to believe that courtesy and respect are things of yesteryear. Not a day goes by without some nitwit cutting me off on the Freeway and then giving ME the single-finger-salute. I pass people on the sidewalk and few if any will yield even an inch. I have to either detour around them or hit them with a shoulder block. When I’m riding my bike on the boardwalk around Mission Bay and encounter a group of people casually walking side by side and blocking the entire boardwalk, I ring my bell and politely say, “On your left, please.” In most cases, they ignore me and I have to pass them on the grass. With no regard for the safety of other people, pet owners walk their dogs around the bay on long leashes, creating a hazard for bikers and rollerbladers.
When I’m walking down the street and a stranger approaches me, I often make eye contact, smile, and say, “Hi”. More often than not, they gawk at me as if I was a rapist. I go to the gym 5 days a week. Consequently, there are lots of people I see regularly, yet it takes an act of Congress to get many of them to even smile, let alone strike up a conversation. Here’s another issue that drives me nuts. I live on a street where parking spaces are at a premium. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have off-street parking, finding a spot to park on the street is very difficult. In spite of this situation, a problem that everyone in the neighborhood is aware of, local residents haphazardly park their cars and take up two parking spaces. It’s as if they’re living in their own little world and nobody else matters.
Would you like to talk about door dings and people blocking traffic in a busy parking lot, hell-bent on parking as close to an establishment as possible? In a snowstorm, I can understand this. But what is the obsession with finding the absolute closest parking spot at Costco, or Walmart in sunny San Diego? Isn’t walking good for your heart?
What has happened to our society? Have we become so self-absorbed and so insensitive that we can no longer be civil or respectful? It seems to me that in an ever-evolving world with extraordinary medical breakthroughs, unimaginable technological advancements, and innovative scientific discoveries, humans have regressed to a state of self-serving clods. I can’t even begin to imagine what the world will be like in 50 years. Thank God, I won’t be around to witness the madness.