there is a basic idea that has been lost in the modern age
that idea is respect

people need to respect themselves
people need to respect others

as bitter and angry as I am... everyone gets initial respect at the first encounter
but... the privledge of respect can be revoked at any time

respect for my elders?
certainly... I respect my elders
and older folks are given a little more of a break they are granted
but.... it grandpa runs a redlight and nearly runs me down
he gets the finger like everyone else even if he is wearing a roman collar

if grandma fails to yeild to my wife and children as we cross the street...
I may not spit square in her face... but I will step forward and tell her to "slow down"
depending upon her response... she may even get a "slow the f_ck down" as I want to make sure my point is heard

I try to maintain my cool
but something about someone interferring with my right to live to tomorrow
or worse yet... someone threatening the life of my wife and children
it pisses me off
for some reason that shit gets my heart rate up

as a cyclist, a runner, a hiker, a walker, a husband, a dog owner, and as a father I have found much motivation for altering my behavior
also... existing in each of these sub-groups has given me empathy for each and every other person that exists in these sub-groups
from my existence in these sub-groups I am able to transfer empathy to the rights of others in various other subgroups
I fear that most of our culture has failed to transfer their feeling of their personal rights to other people's rights as well

the rowers and canoes at the boat clubs on the Potomac hate the power boaters
jet skiers are human devils to their subculture
yet... these same people who love their human power crafts
fail to understand that when they are in their cars going to their boat houses when they pass cyclists fast and close... well... they are just as lame as the Gold's Gym asshole on the jet ski with his OAKLEY THERMONUCLEAR PROTECTION gear from 1985

how can the person who works and saves so they can go diving twice a year understand the fear for their life as a power boater cruises over head when there is clearly a flag marking divers bellow
yet, they can not understand that when they make a fast and aggressive pass around a cyclist on a winding and twisting road that they are no different

it boggles my mind
we need to increase our ability to empathize
we need to show others respect
we need to show everyone respect
if we simply started by having all of us that love our human powered activities to share respect for all others and their human powered activities
well.... we would be improving our behavior ten fold
we could expand from there
thanks for listening


No comments: