Theobroma - Food of the Gods

Tidbits of life from a simple Syrian-Californian girl.

10 January 2014

Traveling brings out and worst in people?

Traveling provides me with so much social commentary.  (read, Sally-rant)

First.  The little girl in the seat behind me would on occasion kick my seat.  She was 4ish years old and figuring out life.  At one point, after a particularly hard jolt I got to the seat back, I turned around to say something but the mother intercepted. "Sweetie, you can't do that.   The lady in front of you paid for that seat, you only paid for your so you can do what you want to your seat but you aren't allowed to touch hers because she paid for it."

Little girl: "She bought the seat?"

Mom: "No, she rented it, so to speak.  So during the time we're on the plane, it's hers and you can't kick it because she paid money for it and we didn't.  You only paid for the seat that you are in so you just stay in that seat and touch it but you don't touch other ones because we didn't pay money for them"

Are you serious?  Is that how some parents teach their children to be kind to other people or respectful or considerate?  That other people paid for something and we didn't so we have to respect their space or them, period?  The approach I had when I was raised was "you don't do that, that's rude," but I'm also familiar with the sympathy/compassion approach, "how would that make you feel if someone spent the entire flight kicking the back of your chair while you are sitting peacefully in it trying to enjoy a book?"

Is money the deterrent to bad behavior?  Is money or ownership what drives us to be kind to one another or considerate? Is that what our society is coming to?  That we teach our children that we paid for something and therefore can do with it what we please but have to respect the things that other people paid for.  Does this mean that one with money is respectable but (s)he who does not have money is not?  Is there not dignity and the respect for the other human?  Do we not feel that we ought to respect others because they deserve it?  Or following the golden rule, because that's how we want to be treated?  I was dumbfounded.  Appalled and it made me sad.

Then.  We were in queue to board a shuttle in the airport to go to our gate and a woman, the first woman in the queue wheeled up her suitcase and was holding her big coat and her huge over-the-shoulder-bag and stopped at the door of the shuttle.  She started to organize her things and said "well I'm going to hold everyone up here," she was anxiously jamming the retractable rolly-handle back into the suitcase (which of course, wasn't cooperating).  I asked "can I help?" She looked at me and rolled her eyes, she laughed and said "never, I'm not one of those."  I don't quite know what one of those means but someone that accepts help?  Maybe she thinks one of those is a helpless person who cannot take care of him/herself.  I thought how ugly her response was, coming from a place of utter pride and insecurity.  I thought of something one of my favorite people in the world says "A thank you would suffice."  You don't need to prove who you are or aren't you can just gracefully accept that others want to help you and not just you, want to help people.

**writing this at the airport, so I apologize for any misspellings or grammar erros.  

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