Yesterday at the thrift store I watched a very young mother scold her very young child (about four) for spilling his crackly bag of red hot cheetohs all over the floor. He apologized and said it was "a accident" and she continued to scold as she swept the glaringly red snack food under the clothing rack with her right foot. I was flabbergasted. I probably shouldn't have been but I was. In my snoot, snoot, snooty head I glared and reprimanded. There were too many things I thought wrong with the whole scene and I thought what good is she teaching this child?
I thought back to my preschool years and I remember knocking over products at the grocery store much to my mother's chagrin and then picking up said products under her watchful yet unscolding eye. I remember accompanying her to the fabric sore (which I abhorred) and running around and hiding in the fabric racks until she'd yank me out by the arm, sit me down at the pattern book table and ask me to pick out a new dress pattern. I know how difficult it can be shopping with children. How taxing, really. Grocery shopping about did me in so I am not so snooty that I judge her for sitting the kiddo down in the back of the cart with a crackly bag of processed snack food (I myself am quite partial to the orange puffs). I do however hold it against her for sweeping those red crunchy bits slightly under the racks so that others can stomp on them. One, it shows no accountability, two, it loses out on a teachable moment and three, it leaves a mess for the staff to pick up...then again...the mister and I once stumbled upon something much more awful sitting on the floor in the middle of an aisle at a thrift store we will never frequent again.
*I want things like this not to be acceptable or shrugged off. In a nutshell it might not seem like a big deal but in the bigger picture it simply leads to more sloppiness.It lends itself to the many things that are wrong with the world (think about not picking up the wrapper you just walked by because YOU didn't drop it there). Bad examples are set, a lack of caring is put forth and I think it goes hand in hand with morals and all that jazz. Where does it go before others think it is a BIG deal. Why not begin with an internal measure of how you want to be perceived or how you want the world to work? Sure, there are exceptions (lots of exceptions) and things don't always work out the way you want them to but to show a lack in caring or an obliviousness that the behavior is not normal is sad and startling. I liken this to the "good job" debate and children expecting gold stars at every turn, to employees expecting the highest rating on their reviews for simply doing their job and for internet sales people expecting 5 stars for sending you their product as they should. It's about treating people with kindness because you are kind. My thoughts are coming out very clear here and I understand that many of you will think me most snooty but these are the things I think about as I observe the discontent of the world around me.