Archive for the ‘perspective’ Category


I’m a very calm guy.  In fact, some of my friends wonder if anything bothers me at all.  I can’t help that I’m a very nonchalant guy.  I like to keep things in perspective, so that keeps me grounded.  I’m usually pretty patient, but sometimes, there are some things that can raise my blood pressure.  And it usually involves people not respecting the roadways.

Road rage happens to all of us.  However, some overreact when compared to others.  I don’t angrily blow my horn (any more — people get shot for less) or throw finger signs.  I usually just mentally curse people out in my head and keep it moving.  But there are two things that irk me when it comes to sharing the road:

They acted like we weren’t even there.

Cyclists

If there is any group of people on this planet who seem to feel more entitled to the road, it’s cyclists.  They act as if they have bumpers on their bikes.  Just recently, I was going to visit my grandmother.  She lives kind of off in the country, so the roads are just two lanes for most of the way.  I rolled up behind a group of cyclists.  It was close to 20 of them and they were just pedaling away around 15 mph.  In my mind, I’m thinking, “Well, I’m sure that they’ll get over to the side and allow the cars to pass.  After all, it’s a curvy road, so the only way to get by is for them to allow us to do so.”

Yeah, I don’t know why I thought that.

They rode and chatted for close to 3 miles while me and roughly 8-10 vehicles followed them like we were in a parade.  They never made an attempt to pull over on a side street to allow us by or even ride single file to give us room.  They just left us back there to cruise as if we didn’t exist.  By the time I got to my grandmother’s house, you could probably see a vein popping out of my neck.  If I’d only had a snowplow, I could have just shoved them off in the ditch and kept rolling.

Very frustrating to get stuck at an intersection.

Intersection Blockers

These are the people who pull into an intersection although there’s no room on the other side to clear the lane.  So, when you get the green light to go through, you can’t go anywhere because these numbskulls are blocking your way as in the photo above.

If they only allowed machine guns on the front of cars.

I took that photo at a very busy intersection in Jackson.  Every day at 5 PM, people clog the lanes knowing that they’re blocking you, too.  But, like the cyclists, they don’t care.  Because they obviously think that they’re more important than you and that your time isn’t valuable as theirs.  All you can do is wait on them to clear the intersection and hope that you still have a green light.  If not, you may have to do it all over again with the next set of idiots.

Old schoolers will get this reference.

Conclusion

If I were to ever snap and take a tire iron to someone’s knees some day, then know that one of these two types of people would be the recipient of me going Tonya Harding on them.  People should respect the roadways and everyone on it.  It would make the commute to your destination go that much better if the person next to you is considering you when making decisions.

But that’s not the world that we live in.  Everyone thinks that they’re more important than you and that you should understand that.  That’s why people pull out in front of you, refuse to let you merge, and things of that nature.  Society gets more disrespectful each and every day.  I guess that I may as well get used to it because there doesn’t appear to be enough people willing to change it.

Advertisements

One of my father’s childhood friends stopped by his house recently while I was visiting. Listening to them talk about growing up together was so entertaining! I sat back and listened to each story that they told.  Knowing what life was like for my father as a child is fascinating to me.  He’s told me so many stories of how he and his brothers grew up in 40’s and 50’s in Mississippi.  I value each and every story I get from family as a timeless treasure.

The photo attached is one of my mom and her siblings.  I know a story about every person in it.  My uncle in the black shirt once told me a funny story about jumping off a moving truck in an attempt to impress girls as a youth.  My aunt next to him told me a story of how her husband forgot to play her usual numbers for the Minnesota lottery the one day her numbers were actually selected.  The lady in the middle is my mom, so of course I know everything about her.  My uncle in the suspenders shared with me how his dad (my granddad) broke him from smoking cigarettes.  My aunt in the red shirt shared about how she once had to discipline my mom for being bad.

So many entertaining stories that takes you back in time as you listen to them.  However, it sometimes makes me feel pretty bad about not having a son or daughter to share these stories with about my family. My cousins have kids, so they may attempt to share some things.  Although I have god kids and my lady has kids, they probably wouldn’t understand the dynamic of my family. Especially on my father’s side.  If you didn’t grow up around my family like my cousins and I did, then it would be hard to understand some of the inside jokes that come from the stories that they tell.  It’s almost like walking in on the middle of a movie.  You may figure some things out, but you’ll never have foundation that all good stories must have.

But, me not being able to pass things down is not the real tragedy.  The real tragedy is that I don’t think kids have an interest in hearing those type of stories. If it’s not about “Twilight,” a reality show, an Xbox game or something like that, then kids tend to tune grown people out after three minutes or so.

So, where will these stories go? Will they die with me?  

Unfortunately, I think that they will.  Talking to elders is a thing of the past.  Previous generations and how they live aren’t important in our society now.  They probably haven’t been in more than a decade.  At least not any more.  I’m not the only one who recognizes that fact either.

The cable network called AMC (once called American Movie Classics) changed their name because they wanted to get away from the classic and appeal to younger generations.  It’s why they now have programming like “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad.”  They know that very few want to watch old black and white movies today.  Do you know anyone under 40 years of age who can watch a black and white TV show/movie?

The United States is probably one of the only countries that doesn’t hold its elders in high regard.  In Asian countries, older people are revered for their experience and wisdom.  To sit with someone who has truly experienced life is an honor to most of them and other countries.  Here in the States, it’s considered a waste of time for some.  Kids don’t want to hear how things used to be.  They don’t care what life was like before cell phones and remote controls.  It doesn’t affect their lives so it has no place.

That’s so sad to me.  Storytelling is a lost art.  I used to enjoy sitting on the porch and talking to my grandmother about her days as a little girl.  I heard about how she had to work from the crack of dawn to sundown as a pre-teen.  I remember hearing that she didn’t have her first TV until she was in her 30’s.  She’s told me about how racism was rampant in Mississippi.  In fact, she just recently told me about how she cooked breakfast at her sister’s house for two of the three civil rights workers not too long before they were later murdered in Philadephia, MS.

Hearing how she lived gives me perspective on how I live.  Perspective is something we severely lack in society.  We can’t put ourselves in someone else’s shoes because we don’t have to do so.  My generation doesn’t appear interested in sharing things with its kids.  In fact, my generation invented things to keep kids occupied so that we wouldn’t have to talk to them.  Why else would someone think of putting a DVD player in a vehicle?

How can a kid understand the privilege of having a car when he/she doesn’t even know that her grandma had to walk to school?

How can a kid appreciate having over 200 television stations when he/she doesn’t know that granddad only had four while growing up?

How can a kid value the time family spends together when everything promotes individualism (iPod/earbuds, cell phone, tablets).

As much as it pains me to say it, “cherishing our elders are a thing of the past.”  I honestly think that my generation (70’s babies) is the last one where a majority of us truly appreciate the stories we were told by those a generation above us.

It’s a shame, too.  Now that I’m 42 years old, I have lived life long enough to have stories to tell.  Some funny and some serious.  But, “who wants to hear them” is what I ponder.  The only people who will probably know about my stories are the ones who follow my blog.  The rest just don’t seem to care.

Am I wrong when I say that our elders are no longer relevant to a majority of young people?