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9.03.2012

ANSWER ME!!!



Do you ever have something that just grates upon your every last nerve?   The issue  I am thinking about not only makes me have a bit of flaring of anger, but leaves me with a bevy of questions about why it is such a hot button for me, and what is the root cause of this societal irritation.

School started back up for the fall recently.  That means more traffic on the roads, kids walking to school, buses causing more minutes added to the morning drive to work, police sitting in the church parking lot across from the school chomping at the bit to ticket any poor soul that does not abide by the "school zone" speed limit.  It also means that when I run early in the morning through my neighborhood high school and junior high kids are waiting on various intersections for the bus. 

It happened again the other morning.  About 6:45 a.m., on the back side of my run, I ran past a group of kids waiting for the bus - 4 boys ranging in age from 12-16 ish.  I did what I do, acknowledged the humans in my scope of proximity with a good morning.  Silence came from the boys.  Nothing.  No response.  No acknowledgement of my greeting or reciprocating words.  I'm sure they were not thrilled to be up and on their way to school at that early time of day.  I will give them that.  But stilll.......

You couldn't miss me, a 46 year old woman running at 6:45 a.m.  There wasn't anyone else out. My voice was not lost in a symphony of sounds, it was quiet out!  I ran by them with the only space between us being the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street.  I was literally only a couple of feet from their posse.  They simply turned toward me and blankly stared.  They stared.  Nothing else. 

I momentarily wondered if my left breast had miraculously escaped my sports bra and tank top.  Had I blinded them with the sight of a 46 year old barely A-cup breast?  I looked down hoping that I had been the cause of their silent response to my greeting.  My breasts were still lassoed in.  I ran on, fuming about their lack of social skill.   What I really wanted to do was stop and explain in humor what is acceptable and expected social behavior.  I wanted to tell them that eventually there would be a woman that they loved and that learning those communication skills might be the determining factor between them getting the girl of their dreams or NOT!

Out on a walk the other evening, Doug and I came upon a group of young elementary kids riding bikes and playing in the street.  Doug looked at two of the boys riding bikes and said, "Hi.  Who's winning the race?"  They stared at him, no expression on their face, did not smile nor respond verbally.  Anger surged through me again.  What is going on with basic social behaviors with kids presently? 

As we walked on I spewed!  I ranted.  I raved.  And then, I wondered what is causing kids to lack basic manners of communication?  Could it be that the pendulum of schools and parents preaching to kids to not talk to strangers, to not trust all people has swung too far?  Could it be that in teaching safety, we have taught rudeness, distrust and poor human behavior?  Could it be that kids are not exposed to situations teaching them how to respect other adults like the generations before them were?   Could it be possible that technology; computers, texting and gaming are contributing to the lack of social skills that I see displayed?  Could it be that these kids will grow into adults that are lacking greatly in social communication skills that will cause massive relationships issues?

I remember being taught that if someone talked to you, a response was expected.  It was respectful to reciprocate a greeting, to give an answer when asked a question by an adult.  Shyness, fear or laziness was not allowed to override manners.  And if you did, there was a consequence, a lesson, a talking to that occurred.

I grow very weary, very saddened and very perturbed with kids' lack of social communication etiquette.  Fads, technology come and go, but respect and acknowledgement of other human beings needs to be an unchangeable. 

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