Something that’s been bothering me for awhile: I’ve noticed a lack of respect, an increasing self-absorption, that has some people behaving as if there is no one else around them — even when they’re in a crowd. Sometimes I actually stop check to see if I am invisible! Nope. I’m here, in the flesh, for all to see. I finally realized that what’s missing a lot these days can be summed up in one word: consideration. There is an increasing lack of consideration for others that is making daily routines in life more stressful and less enjoyable — for me, at least.

The traffic in L.A. has gotten so bad that this is where I see inconsiderate behavior the most these days. Does anyone use turn signals anymore? It’s not just about consideration, kids, it’s about safety.

And why do some people make wide right turns without considering that they are unnecessarily holding up the flow of traffic behind them while they wait for pedestrians to cross the street.

Or people who go through building doors without considering the person right behind them is going to get a door slammed in their face if they don’t hold the door for them.

Or those who push past you on the sidewalk or walk in front of you while you’re looking at something on a shelf in the store and don’t consider saying “excuse me.”

Those who talk or text during a movie and don’t consider that others around them are trying to enjoy the movie without distractions.

And don’t even get me started on what happens on social media and even online news these days — the inconsideration in most comments is tragic.

What about the heads of corporations who no longer consider how their actions are affecting the environment, or that the way they treat and compensate their employees affects the nation’s economy and even their own profits? There are some companies, like Costco, who don’t operate that way and, because of that, I am more likely to consider shopping there.

Some people don’t engage with others the way they used to because they are on their computers and communicating via email, text or social media instead of connecting via telephone or in person. Part of the problem with communicating via technology is that we can avoid consequences for our actions. It’s harder to ask/turn someone down for a date, have a sensitive conversation, or discuss something important when you can hear the tone/emotional response of the other person and/or see their facial expressions. It’s easier to lie, avoid being truthful, or just avoid responding altogether (“OMG I never got your text/email” or “F them, I’m not even going to respond to that”) when you use technology to communicate. If you hurt someone via text or email and you can’t hear them cry — and you don’t give them a chance to have a discussion about it — how do you learn to be considerate of other people’s feelings? That’s a chickenshit way to go through life, not to mention unfair.

And I think more and more people are getting away with it. No one’s calling people on their shit. Or their shitty behavior. (Except me, sometimes: my friends know how much I hate texting and don’t always want to converse via email. And I have called a few people out for chickenshit behavior.) Everyone wants to get as many Likes as they can these days. I really believe people don’t even realize they’re being inconsiderate anymore. Or perhaps they do and just don’t care. I see parents exhibit this behavior, so you know what that means: their kids are being raised to be inconsiderate, too.

And then there’s people like the Kardashians and the nasty competitiveness that became ‘entertainment’ thanks to reality TV. ’nuff said.

The other day I got lost in thought and didn’t notice the red light had turned green. The person behind me honked and all of a sudden I realized that, when I become impatient or frustrated with other drivers, I often don’t consider that they may have just had a ‘duh’ moment like I just did; I automatically judge them for being you-know-whats. This is an unfortunate side effect of the proliferation of inconsiderate behavior: we don’t give people the benefit of the doubt or accept human error as much anymore. So much pressure!

The world operates on the laws of cause and effect. The causes we make have effects on our own lives and that of others. This is something politicians, in particular, should absolutely consider these days — we are already seeing the negative effects of negative causes that have been and are being made, and we have been for a long time. The fact that people like Bernie Sanders are gaining momentum (and huge numbers of followers) makes me think people are starting to consider what’s going on in the world.

I must mention that I am very fortunate to have a lot of considerate friends…I know some of the nicest, kindest people, and they inspire me to be a better person and bring great joy to my life.

How much happier and at peace do you think we’d all be if we took the time to consider other people’s feelings…even just a little bit more? You know how it works. One person considers another and then the recipient pays it forward, and on and on and on. Pretty soon we could be living in a more considerate world where people genuinely care about each other and the environment we live in — it could be the first step to creating a more peaceful and prosperous world. It may sound unreasonably altruistic…but I really think it’s something to consider.

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