I am one who enjoys going for walks in the morning…at least when the weather is nice. Once it is raining or snowing or just darn cold, then I hop on board the eliptical and enjoy a “walk” that way. But my favorite is to walk through parks and such before work each day. Actually, my favorite is to walk through the woods, but I don’t always have time to get out of the city for that, so I settle for the parks.
Now, as I am walking it is usually around the time that people are headed to work and to school and so on. But there are also others who are simply out for walks as well. I have noticed something that really stands out to me. If I encounter someone who is, say, 35+ years of age, they will usually smile and say, “good morning” and so on, as will I. But people who are younger, say teens to 20’s, will keep their eyes either to the ground or look past me as they pass by, not acknowledging my presence whatsoever. Even if I smile and say, “good morning,” they will simply ignore that and keep walking.
Have we really taught them such “stranger danger” mentality that all courtesy has gone out the window? Is it more important to be “cool” and not respond than it is to be pleasant? Are they so insecure in themselves that they think that simply saying something as easy as “good morning” or even just “morning” (not all mornings are good) is such an emotional effort that takes such a toll of them that they just cannot manage? Please do not misunderstand me. I do not think that ANYONE is obliged to acknowledge my presence. I am not that egocentric. However, when they do not acknowledge myself or anyone else, as I have observed, then there is a real problem devoloping.
I do get it when it comes to young women. Women have been targets of violence for far too long and I do have a LOT to say regarding that, so I won’t go on a rant about it at this time. Suffice it to say, I get it that they may not feel comfortable with smiling or responding to some male stranger walking on a path in the park. Totally get it. BUT, I have also found that, on the very rare occasions that a young person does deem it to be appropriate to be pleasant, IT IS USUALLY THE FEMALES AND NOT THE MALES.
Having said all of this, I must also mention that something else I have noticed is that people tune out nature while they are walking. Yes, I like to listen to music in my earbuds while I walk because it helps me to keep a good pace. But I also have the sound turned way down so that I can still hear the birds, traffic, voices and so on. What is disturbing is that as some young folks walk past, I can hear THEIR music in their earbuds! Do they not realize that by 30 they will be deaf?? Holy crap! Talk about tuning out the world around you!
I think that this sort of thing is going to have long lasting negative ripple effects in society. How are they going to even maintain a relationship if the go-to is to tune everything and everyone out? How are they going to be able to respond to the world around them if they are oblivious of what is happening around them?
This sort of thing scares me. There was a time that we were raised to be responsible. That is the ability to respond. But if we are tuned out, then how are we able to respond? As I get older, I have begun to worry about the generation that may reasonably be put in charge of my personal care in some nursing home way down the road. If they treat me like this NOW, then how are they going to treat me then? Will I die from malnourishment and neglect because some young idiot didn’t deem it their job to care for me when that is what they are being paid to fricken do? And how are they going to even care for their own offspring if they are tuned out in front of a video game or listening to music blasting in their earbuds?
These are the things that I ponder while on the walking path. I have come to the conclusion so far that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I challenge anyone who disagrees to prove it. In the meantime, I hope that my demise is fast and painless, because if I have to rely upon any of these kids to take care of rolling me over so I don’t get bed sores, I am screwed.