After watching TV last night, I’m almost ashamed to call myself a U.S. citizen. One has to wonder, doesn’t one, what this country is coming to? First we have a member of Congress standing up during the President’s speech and calling him a liar. Then Kanye West gets in Taylor Swift’s face and tries to steal her moment in the spotlight. Then there’s Bill Mahr espousing his political views (and I use that term loosely) laced with such arrogance that what he says doesn’t even make sense. But still, he gets air time. I’d like to know who his fans are. How many people understand his gibberish? He sort of reminds me of a friend’s two-year-old daughter. She’s quite adamant when she speaks, insistent in getting her point across. But no one, including her parents, can understand what she’s saying.
When I see such behavior on my television screen night after night, I find it embarrassing to be lumped in with my fellow citizens. I wonder if the way we see people of notoriety acting is reflective of the general public in America. Are their bizarre behaviors and rude outbursts becoming the norm? What happened to manners? Politeness? Respect? At this point I’d accept mere civility, but we can’t even aspire to that.
Have we all become rude, arrogant, and simply unbearable? Are we just nasty people who care nothing for others, but only about ourselves and our self-interest and self-promotion? No wonder people in other countries hate us. No wonder we’re attacked and belittled. In the same way we put down the behavior of those we see on TV, outsiders put us down. But I have to wonder…is TV simply holding up a mirror for all of us? Reflecting our bad behavior back at us?
I can attest to the fact that manners have dropped by the wayside because every day I encounter rude individuals at my place of employment. Kids who want something for nothing approach the counter and say, “Can I get a glass of water?” No “May I” or “Please” or “Thank-you.” No purchase, either. Just a sense of entitlement and no need to be pleasant or grateful. What am I saying? It isn’t just kids. Adults do this, too.
The number of people who chat on cell phones while ordering? Don’t get me started. The ones who throw their money on the counter because they’re too high and mighty to actually put it in my hand? They’re just lovely and they make me feel so special.
How many of us say and do nasty things without even thinking about it? The middle finger extended toward the driver who cut you off. The comment you make to someone else as soon as a disliked acquaintance or co-worker walks away. You were nice to her face…but you really can’t stand her. And you’ve got to get your digs in when you can. So spread your poison around to others.
We’re all guilty. Including me. Want to have a look at the society we’ve created? Just turn on the TV, look in the mirror, and enjoy.