America, the … Lazy?

My recent trip to the store was confirmation about writing this post. You know, using my instincts and all that.

I have seen Americans become more lazy recently. I won’t mention the inability for us to pull up our pants (oh, sorry, maybe that was “below the belt”, which would be the knees). But look around. Watch.

In my recent discussions with Dr. Jim deBoer from EPP Workbook (see review here), we talked about Americans becoming citizens that contribute to society. I also wrote a post about being considerate of others (see here). But as I watch, not everyone is getting the bigger picture of a unified nation which now causes me to write about it.

What are you doing to be an upstanding American citizen, a contributor not a leech, a benefit not a bum?

I have seen things that make my blood boil and it seems to be getting worse. Like young adults (between 16-22) that park in the handicap spot in front of the grocery store just so they can get in and out quickly. Yes, I observed closely. People that will not put the grocery cart (buggy) into the corral even though it is one car space away from where they parked, or worse, right in front of their car. Laziness is not gender, race or nationality specific either.

And that’s just from the recent trip to the store. What about standing against the rail at a fast food restaurant and letting your girlfriend order for you because you are too busy texting (she was not pleased)? There may be an exception to the next one but after watching you cross the parking lot, having your friend go get the car and pick you up at the corner because you are “tired”. My friends would have found themselves walking not just to the car but all the way home. Yeah, you don’t want to be my friend.

These are a few of the things I see around me and I try to raise my children to where none of them are involved in things like this or others that send me through the roof. Back in the late 1900’s, you know 1970-1999, people seemed to have it together. I know there are exceptions like disease, pains, aches, etc but COME ON AMERICA! If you are physically capable, maybe you should be helping those that aren’t. At least make it a point to help your self.

I close with two more stories:

A man was begging for money at a street corner. I do realize there are vets and others that need this to supplement their income and my hats off to them. However, this wasn’t the case. I watched this man for roughly a week. He was an overweight, unshaven and slovenly type of man who didn’t move at any point during the day from the time I walked into work, to the time I was back at my hotel room. I know he didn’t during work because I would check at lunch and at random times throughout the day. I watched as this man’s sign grew dirtier every day from the dust from the masses of people who passed him. Again, using my instincts I thought several times about giving the man money. I thought about just bringing him a burger or some other food or even a cup of hot coffee.

One day as I watched the man, a little old lady brought him a bag from a fast food restaurant with hot food inside. He berated her by yelling and calling her stupid because the man’s sign clearly stated, “I need money to eat”. This was a bit much for me to handle but I was a stranger in a foreign land (a southerner in New York City) and I did nothing, until that evening. As I passed by the man, who seemed to have all the qualities of a fire hydrant because he still hadn’t moved, he yelled at me. “Hey! Can’t you read the sign?” I had just finished one of the worst work days of my life that all started with him yelling at an elderly lady earlier in the day. I unleashed the hounds of hell on this man and my fury berated him to the point he grabbed his sign, his black plastic bag of whatever and rapidly walked away. Apparently my words “healed” the man. He was NOT a contributor to society at all but more of a leech and burden to society and in the two months of me being in the city following the incident, he was no where to be found.

On the other side, we have a lady that was shopping for gift cards and had an abundance of them in her hand. She turned to go to the cash register and slipped. She fell and about fifty cards went flying. A man, who was feeble and about 80 years old, saw it and started pushing his buggy over to help the lady. I too saw it and ran to assist. This is not about me but the man. At 80ish years old this man still had the thought of helping his neighbor or damsel in distress. Either way, he is still contributing. This is my America!

I am not naive enough to think we have what we did in the 50’s or 60’s (by the way, I was not born then) but I know the types of things that went on during that time. There were hooligans and hoodlums just like today, but putting a potato in a tailpipe, stealing daddy’s cigarettes and car only to hang out with Jimmy at the malt shop doesn’t quite seem as bad as what we consider a menace to society these days. I hear stories from days gone by from people that lived them. The stories that I hear now about modern day make my hair stand on end and one reason why I have two friends when I leave the house (S&W).

Wake up and smell the tide turning in a direction that we don’t want it to go. As Americans, some of us are too lazy to do anything about including our political situation regardless of federal or local but there are other things we can do. Pick up a pen and write your congressional representative a letter. Let him know you are displeased and want to help.

Pick up gift cards if someone drops them. Help someone with their groceries if they need it. Clean off the table at the Post Office when others leave the trash 6″ from the trash can.

But most of all, use your instincts to survive!

Until then,