First off, let me apologize for not posting since last Thursday. I've been sick. All I've really felt like doing was sitting on the couch and watching TV. That's not to say that MG has let me get away with that, but the blog certainly has. I'm still sick, but getting better.
Now, straight to the heart of the matter.
There once was a thing known as 'Southern Hospitality'. I'm not sure it exists anymore, at least not in a general sense. Sure, there are local pockets of it here and there, but overall?
I notice the social decline a lot. As life has gotten more complicated in our increasingly busy world, hospitality and even decorum have gone right out of the nearest window. Fewer and fewer people smile and wave at their neighbors. For that matter, fewer and fewer people even know their neighbors. I grew up in a suburban development with about 50 to 60 houses. I think I knew most everyone, or at least knew who they were. I probably know less than 25% of the people in my current neighborhood. Nobody sits out on their porch here. Not many people even go for walks around the neighborhood here. I wave at people here who half-heartedly wave back, and some who don't wave back at all. I know who a lot of the kids are around here, but striking up a polite conversation is like pulling teeth ("yeah, like, whatever"). However, I am trying to do my part to set a good example for other people. Even things as simple as holding doors for people - am I naive to hope might be enough to get people to think about (not-so-common-anymore) courtesy?
But here's the thing that set me off today. I went to the Post Office on my way home from work. The parking lot is a one-way single lane with diagonal parking on both sides. I pulled into the parking lot behind another guy and noticed a car up ahead backing out of a spot on the right. It was about half-way out when we got into the lot, but the guy in front of me - and I'm not exagerating or embellishing at all here - sped up, laid on his horn, and swerved his car to squeeze between the car backing out (which wisely stopped) and the line of cars on the opposite side. I would guess that he was going about 25 to 30 miles per hour as he went by. Why did he do that? I dunno, but all he did was drive to the mailboxes at the end of the lot and put his letters in before leaving (I can't see how doing that thirty seconds later would have adversely affected his life). I had to wave the stopped car out, as she was visibly shaken and not going to take any chances, I guess.
I started thinking about it a little. What if she hadn't been able to stop? What if someone had walked out from between the parked cars on the other side? What if it had been a child? What would a reasonable person have done if they had been driving the offending car? What would Jesus do?
And I ask that last question for a very good reason. After all, it was written right there on the guy's bumper sticker.