You Lie”- Representaive Joe Wilson
“Taylor, I’m really happy for you. I’ll let you finish, but Beyonce had one
of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!”- Kanye West
In the last few days, I have resisted the urge to quote The Rock and say,”Know your role and shut your mouth.” I am sure depending on your age and generation, no doubt you have noticed a change that has come over much of the American population.Neigbors, children, adults senior and old are becoming more discourteous, impolite, and rude.Perhaps you have approached the cash register of a store or fast food restaurant in hopes of checking out promptly. Instead, you are faced with employees chatting with each other, seemingly oblivious to your presence. When you eventually are noticed, the employees’ nonverbal signals make you feel as if you have interrupted them.
Cell phone conversations are carried on at volume that is unavoidable. You are affronted with personal details that at most times you really wish you didn’t know. Where once American business literally survived and thrived on the notion that “the customer is always right,” now the widespread sentiment seems to be “I could care less about the customer—just pay me for doing as little as possible.” Everything is automated. When you call anyone or anything you are hindered with the “Choose 1, Choose 2.″ I often wish there was an alternative to “Choose None.”
Attentiveness, generosity, and caring service have all but evaporated. How many times have you entered a restaurant and noticed unclean tables and unkempt floors? How often have you made a trip to the grocery store only to encounter shelves unstocked or in disarray—with the very item you came for sold out? In bygone days, the average grocery store manager would have considered such a situation with disgust—even alarm due to lost sales and customer dissatisfaction—and called the negligent employees to account for their inefficiency.
Kanye’s actions and Rep Joe Wilson’s actions are indicative of what is going wrong. We have left common courtesy by the wayside for expressing our every thought out loud. Another indication of the decline in virtue in American culture in the last 50 years is the behavior of motorists on America’s highways. Where once most truckers were renowned for their unassuming, courteous driving habits and their willingness to give way to automobiles and even extend assistance to the stranded motorist, an increasing number of truckers bully smaller vehicles by changing lanes unsafely, and radio airways are filled with foul language and truckers cursing other truckers. Exceeding the speed limit is now the norm on the Interstate. Cutting in line, tail-gaiting, and angry exclamations are commonplace on the highways of the nation.