Than being treated in a condescending fashion.
What really takes me Zero to Nuclear in a milisecond is if a guest in my house treats me that way.
Recently this happened… AGAIN!
What the hell ever happened to common courtesy?
On this occasion my Mother would have been proud. I gritted my teeth and said nothing. I recalled in an earlier time, I’d have thrown the offender out on their ass then offered the remaining guests another drink.
Now days I just allow their visit to end, they’re not offered a second cup of coffee or any other consideration… And They’re never invited back.
It’s not like I’m asking for the moon and stars. I just ask that you treat me with respect in my home.
In the most recent example of bad behavior; the offending party was someone who seems to think that they’re wiser and smarter than the “Average” people around the town. That belief is apparently born out of their membership in an organization that I’ve personally found to be elitist and out of touch with the real needs or expectation of many of the townsfolk. The problem is that this group has a bit of control and an over inflated sense of self importance.
These are the folks that make statements like; “We published this information in the local paper and you should have read about it there.“
I should point out that the local paper is really LOCAL. It’s not like it has much information beyond the confines of the town. Also for what it is, it’s a pretty expensive subscription. I get the LA Times digitally every day for less than a monthly subscription to the local paper.
When you point out that the community by and large was not informed about a particular thing, event or request for comment, you’re hit with the statement “Well, people should take an interest in their community and should work to find out what’s happening.“
Yeah! Right! You have people commuting 40 to 70 miles one way to go to work, they’re struggling to make ends meet, they get home at 8 or 9 PM and leave again at 6 AM after getting the kids ready for school, and you have the audacity to make a statement like that?
OH HELL NO!
I’ve lived in cities that were much larger than the 3 – 10 thousand folks here. Those cities had no problem posting information in public places. They had no problem sending out notifications and informing the community at large that road work, sewage work, public park renovations, or whatever was planned and they were seeking public comment.
But here, the controlling group of people choose an elitist statement that does nothing to engender trust, or calm. Instead they make comments that are more likely to alienate the very people they supposedly serve.
Attitudes on the part of community leaders or organizations like what I’ve experienced are exactly why people don’t participate.
When I first moved here I tried to get involved. That was 20 years ago. I was dismissed as not being able to contribute. Mind you these people knew nothing of my capabilities, they simply said we have nothing for you to do at the moment and we’ll call you if we think of something.
I checked back several times and always got the same answer. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that they didn’t want anything to do with me. I considered the possible reasons, perhaps because of my living arrangements, perhaps because I was too young, perhaps because they just didn’t like my face.
In the end I basically said the hell with them and wrote all the community organizations off. The same people in one organization were involved with all the others and if they couldn’t be bothered to accept a willing set of volunteer hands I didn’t have to waste my time.
Instead I became involved or continued my involvement with organizations where I worked, or in the communities where I worked.
There was a period of years during which I didn’t make a single purchase from any business in the town where I lived.
Why bother? I wasn’t engaged or connected to the town in any way. I could have been living isolated on top of a mountain in Oregon, or in a loft in New York. I didn’t know the people around me and didn’t care to.
That changed when my house burned. There were a number of people that were awesome. I had no idea they even knew we existed. But there these folks were, trying to help and I appreciated their efforts beyond words. Interestingly, the folks who were there for me aren’t generally involved in the community organizations.
It’s because of those people, the folks who put clothes on my back and made sure I had food in those first days after the fire, that I feel connected to the town. I want to help, and protect this place.
Problem is, the old attitudes remain well entrenched…