I think that people suck. I do not think that persons suck, just that people in general are very self centered and do not think of anyone but themselves. I know that this statement is odd coming back from a vacation, as typically that is when you think most people get more relaxed, and I did. It was also a chance for me to people watch and think about how people interact with each other. My friends don’t suck, it is people in general that suck. I do think the situation is curable – we just have to think about others and how we might impact them.
During this trip there were a few key incidents that caused me come this conclusion. We were at places that were public and can be considered tourist attractions. What I often saw was that parents were not teaching their children how to behave properly. There are two situations that come to mind, the first was in a tram the second in the hotel.
In order for the tram to move, everyone had to be seated. Once the tram started to move one of the children decided to stand. That required the stopping of the tram, an announcement came on to please sit down. The child sat, we moved about 20 feet and then the child stood up again. The operator made a sterner announcement while we all waited again. It was not a question of language barrier as I could clearly hear the adults talking amongst themselves. At no point did they turn their attention to the child.
In the hotel, a family got onto the elevator at the pool level. The child decided that they wanted to walk like a crab and basically lay across the elevator while they dripped on us. The parent did not do anything. When we got to the floor, the child continued to walk like a crab down the hall, dripping and obstructing us. The parent did not care.
I can continue on with stories of poorly behaving kids, but there seems to be a constant – the parents did not seem to care or make an effort at all to control the kids when their actions were impacting others. There were children climbing on railings to get closer to Niagara Falls, climbing on statues that people were trying to take pictures of, climbing over people that were in line… etc. It was not a question of a child being hard to control it was the fact that the parents did not take into account other people in the area that were being impacted.
This behavior continues as people get older. While at the St. Louis Gateway Arch we noticed that there was graffiti on the base of it. It very much sucks that a national landmark is being defaced, not in protest but in ignorance. Is this a result of people not realizing that their actions impact others? Perhaps. Can it be a question of people not watching children while on school field trips, probably much more likely.
This same attitude of things are all about the individual and not the group continued through out the trip. While the L&T Wife and I were sitting at a roulette table, people joined the table. The joining was not the problem. The fact that we were literally getting elbowed was the problem, if it had been a hockey game there would have been a two minute penalty assessed.
Unfortunately this incident was not the only time there were people behaving poorly. While walking in a park, we saw a lady drop her sweater a few people ahead of us. The first four people passed right by it, the L&T Wife picked it up and gave it back to the person. During dinner at a restaurant, people were going up to stranger’s tables and leaning over them to look out the windows.
An excuse would be to say the differences are caused by societal customs. People from other parts of the world have different accepted behaviors. I understand and accepted that. None of these examples situations were the result of different cultures.
Not all hope is lost though, I encountered a family on my way down to the lobby in the hotel. The child wanted to press the buttons. While we were waiting for the elevator to arrive he asked if he could. He also asked what floor I was going to and if he could press the button for me. I had no problem with that, the kid was polite and it was a reasonable request that they asked ahead of time. It is the same reason I will buy items from the neighborhood kids; I believe in supporting and be nice to people. I am not a misanthrope, I just think most people are rude and as a result, suck.
Do me a favor, help make people suck less by being nice and thinking of others. I will do the same.