A True Valentine’s Day Gift

As I go about my daily activities, I have to shake my head when I think about the many instances of hatred/inconsideration/nastiness that I witness or experience on a given day. The co-worker who doesn’t speak to you when they see you in the morning but doesn’t hesitate to ask for your assistance (like you’re the expert) when the copier is jammed.

The other day I ran into the nearby grocery store to find something inexpensive to purchase so that I could write a twenty-dollar check. Yes, check. I needed the money to pay my barber and I refuse to pay the foreign ATM fees that my bank charges if I don’t utilize their machines. Besides that, my barber doesn’t take credit cards.

I realized there was no gum or candy display at the checkout counter where I stood. When I turned to leave, I damn-near broke my neck on the person’s grocery basket, which she had placed on the floor directly behind me.

I did a Dick van Dyke before I fell over the basket (for those of you too young to have ever seen the introduction to the 60s Dick van Dyke TV show, check out one of the retro TV networks sometime). Let’s just say that I caught myself as I took a flying leap but before I hit the floor.

The woman made some Urkel-type (Family Matters, now I know that you’ve heard of that show!) remark, like, “Did I cause that?” instead of saying what she should’ve been saying, which was, “I’m sorry. Are you all right?”

Actually, she should’ve had sense enough not to place her basket behind the person standing in front of her. We were the only two there in line so it wasn’t like we needed to be jammed together out of necessity. I say all that to say, respect a person’s personal space, people!

Ah, I feel better now. But when things like that happen to me or I see it happen to others, it makes me wonder: When did we forget how to love our fellow man?

I used to have a neighbor who used to say her goodbyes (loudly) to her friends around two-thirty in the morning, only a few yards from my bedroom window. Couldn’t that have been done while they were still in the house?

We all know someone who snatched a parking space from another driver waiting patiently; walked up to a group and interrupted them without saying excuse me or allowed the elevator door to shut in the face of someone that was about to board it. Why? Would it hurt that much to hold the door for that person, clean up behind yourself when you’re in a public space or stop and give that misdirected traveler directions?

When did that get to be an exception, rather than the rule? Young men, don’t try to step through the door that a mature woman just opened for herself. Not cool. Can we go back in time, just a little bit? No, I’m not asking you folks to give up your tablets, I-Phones or other technological gadgets. Just go back to what your mama taught you when you were growing up. Along with looking both ways before you cross the street; saying please, excuse me and thank you–showing your fellow man some kindness and consideration this Valentine’s Day.

And every day.

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