The Virtue of Consideration

As we head into this holiday weekend, here in the United States, I hope that celebrations are safe and calm. July Fourth is our Independence Day! I cannot help but wonder what our Founding Fathers would think of the state in which we currently find ourselves.

Turmoil.

Injustice.

Inequality.

Inequity.

Violence.

The list goes on.

These are many of the same adjectives that might have been used in the 1700s when we were trying to become an independent nation. It is disappointing that so much time has passed and we have made such little progress in terms of rights and equality. Of course, there has been a progression in other areas of life. Technology has made our lives both simpler and harder (I believe).  News travels ever so fast these days.  I believe it is too fast.

There is not enough time to process. Hopefully, as life has slowed over the last few months of shutdowns and social distancing, it has given us a chance to be more contemplative, more considerate, and more concerned about our fellow man (and woman).

However, after a morning trip to a convenience store, I am not so hopeful.  Few customers wore a mask. Essentially, I saw one other customer – an elderly lady wearing a face mask. I was wearing one as well. The store currently has a policy for employees to wear masks, and they were.

There was still evidence of a me-first mentality. A line formed for the checkout quickly. Unfortunately, it was busy and the marks on the floor to stay six feet apart only covered some of the distance needed for customers to know where to stand. Soon, the line was bending back towards the rear of the store. However, there was a gentleman, younger than I – probably in his late 30’s – who looked at those of us in the line and ignored it. He stood, out of line but clearly in front of the person in front of me.  The gentleman in front of me moved up so as to block him. I stayed my six feet away, but as the line moved, the person who refused to stand in line (and did not have a mask on either), got in front of me.

I realize this is a small thing. And, those of you more liberal, tolerant, and probably much younger than I will say that maybe he needed to get out of the store quickly – he had somewhere to go. Or, that I didn’t know his circumstance and should not judge. Maybe you are right. But, it frustrated me. After all, this line cutting customer did not know any of our circumstances either. Nor, did he care because he was cutting in line. It was about him.

So, during this holiday weekend, I would like everyone to be considerate of your fellow man. Wear your mask. Stand in line. Stay six feet apart. Smile. Be pleasant. Use this time to contemplate and process and consider. And, hopefully, we will all get through this time sooner than later.

Happy 4th of July! Let Freedom Ring!

 

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