Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mowing the lawn thoughts

While doing something that requires very little brain power the mind tends to wander towards bigger and better things... for me that is the issues facing our country. Go figure.

It has occurred to me recently that the challenge facing our country is NOT our elected leaders, it is our own self centered attitudes towards all things. We have become a people that tend to believe that everything is 'somebody elses problem". In the writings of Douglas Adams he referred to this as the SEP. It scares me how much satire can predict real life.

Lets take a very simple problem (remember, this came to me while cutting my grass) of people who don't clean up their grass and just blow it into the street. So then the rain comes and carries it down the gutter into the storm drain. Out of site, out of mind. Now what happens? It decomposes, very, very slowly... meanwhile the people continue to do the same old thing, not understanding the ramifications of such a minor issue, until the HOA has to spend $10,000 to clean out the drain. Then their dues go up and they complain. Such a simple problem to solve and save money for everyone, yet it is an SEP to those who blow their grass into the road.

This is a simple example of so many things that have gone by the wayside. The other day I was leaving Panera Bread with coffee for my wife (yeap! going to be a good husband and suprise her with coffee and a scone!) and a young 'lady' is leaving right in front of me. I think either a) she will hold the door for me or b) I can at least scoot out the door with my hands full. Neither occurs and I end up with spilled coffee on me, the floor, my shoes. The young 'lady'... does not even look back but moves even faster away from the scene of my minor carnage. Panera gave me a new cup of coffee, but none of this would have occured had that young 'lady' taken 15 seconds to just hold the door open. This was an SEP for her.

Give me your examples of SEP's. I'm sure there are many. These are just two that have occured in the past week to me. Perhaps if we start to bring attention to them people will begin to wake up out of their zombie like state and start to think and take responsibility for what happens around them, and what the effects of what they do can have on others.

-End of Ramble


Beth said...

Sometimes you hear stories about random acts of kindness, not too long ago a string of people started paying for the Starbucks coffee order of the person next in line, and it continued for several hours. We are capable of thinking of others! It's not even like it needs to cost us money, as you point out doing considerate things doesn't have to mean giving charity, just treating others the way we'd like to be treated.

Ordinary Guy said...

Right on Beth. How do we build this groundswell? How do we help others understand out selfishness is our undoing?

I just came from seeing Wall-E. I have many friends say it is just environmental propaganda. I took it a different way. I look at it as being responsible for our own actions. When we fail to be responsible for our own actions we become fat and lethargic. Incapable of seeing the world around us for what it is... and what we are capable of doing for it ... or to it... and how it serves us as we serve it.

Bravo Disney / Pixar. Bravo.

Mr. Christian said...

My biggest SEP peave is people throwing their cigarette butts out the window of their car. Do they think they magically disapear? I'm sure they would never consider throwing a Wendy's cup out the window, or a used newspaper, but a butt? Sure, what harm can that do?

I wish there was a way I could call their attention to it without sounding like a raving lunatic. I started to yell at a womon this week (was behind her in a drive-through) and I think she thought I was deranged.

Ordinary Guy said...

mr. christian,

First... LOL for the deranged comment.
Second, exactly. The problem is the erosion of everything. I bet that person who through the cigarette butt out the window would through a Wendy's cup out the window as well as eventually it's about their convenience. They don't want it in their car because then they have to deal with it.

Perfect SEP.


Lucid Guy said...

Mr. Christian, welcome back. You have pinged on one of my all time peave's, cig butts out the car window. My wife shares my sentiment on this fact - you know her - so you are not alone in this raving lunacy. It goes to Ordinary's point - not my problem, someone else will deal with it. Putting aside that smoking has to be the world's nastiest habit, why do most smokers think the world is their ash tray. They already remove the right of non-smokers to breathe clean air, so now they are removing the right for the rest of us to live without trash covering the planet.

I actually don't mind if anyone smokes, just please don't exhale.