Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sooner Than Later

In my first installment written yesterday, I alluded to my dislike of people who victimize themselves and said that it would very likely become subject material for a future 'monologue'. Ta-Da! The future is now. And I have two very attractive young ladies who stood behind me in the checkout line at the grocery store to thank for the nudge.

They were very pretty and soft spoken. They may have been sisters but they were definitely friends. When I had completed my transaction and was gathering up the bags I heard the one directly behind me ask the cashier for a job application. She replied that they were out of them but to come in the next day when there would be more copies available. They smiled sweetly, thanked the cashier and were right behind me as I exited the store. I heard her say "Let's come in earlier in the day tomorrow and get one hot off the press." I was impressed for two reasons. First--they used a phrase that for them was archaic. These girls were born long after the demise of the mimeograph. It amused me to hear them use a term I thought belonged to my generation and the ones before mine. Second--they were taking initiative. Rather than blowing it off and uttering the 'om' of generation next--"whatever"--she was taking the approach that the early bird gets the worm. I wish her all the luck in the world.

One of my top 5 pet peeves is people who own no responsibility for their self-willed actions, reactions and overreactions. And nothing sets my neck hair to standing faster than the phrase 'it's not fair'. I am very much aware that there are some things that cannot be helped or avoided and that things happen that are beyond our control. A disheartening diagnosis, a negative prognosis, the loss of a job due to downsizing or closure, getting hit by a meteor and so forth. But why does it seem that almost everyone I encounter passes the blame on to someone else for all the petty little incidents that happen to them? Let me just come out with it--life is neither fair or unfair. Life just is and that's all. Stuff happens. All the finger-pointing, excuse-making, whining and kvetching in the world is not going to make it one iota more fair. Good God, if the world actually revolved around as many people who actually believe it does the Big Bang theory would have nothing on the cataclysmic devastation of the universe and all life forms therein. I have the greatest respect for the 'bootstrap' people. Those folks who, like the saying suggests, pull themselves up by their bootstraps, dust themselves off and get on with fixing the problem. We all have friends that are forever singing the same song of how unfair their lives are and how so-and-so did this or that to them and that's why they can't do this or that. Enough already!! I would like to petition Congress to enact a bill that says no one is allowed to complain about anything unless they have at least three viable solutions to the problem. The penalty for violating this statute would be for the complainer to listen to a recording of himself whining for 24 hours a day for seven days--at least.

I get disgusted when I hear the over-inflated sense of entitlement people seem to have anymore. I came to a realization a few years back which truly liberated me. No one deserves to be happy. Happiness isn't a guarantee. You have to work for it and earn it. In the same vein, no one deserves to suffer--no matter what they've done. You do something wrong and there are consequences and everyone knows it. It started with 'look both ways before you cross the street' and 'don't touch--it's hot'. I truly think that everyone except the most mentally challenged knows the difference between right and wrong. Doing right may not always be well rewarded but at least you maintain dignity and self respect. Doing wrong knowingly and willingly eats your soul eventually and you are sentenced to live with yourself without parole. Prison and the death chamber are incidental to the greater punishment of knowing that with all the potential you possess this is where you ended up. Some people might be ok with that but it would destroy me.

In a nutshell I feel that if you don't like something the way it is, than change it. If you don't know how to change it, seek appropriate help. If you don't want to take the initiative, than shut up. That young lady at the grocery store today was the poster-child for taking initiative in her own small way. She inspired this installment and gives me hope for the future.


  1. I just read this through again. I was on a bit of a rant wasn't I? By the by, the young lady who inspired this post is indeed a cashier--but at the Rite Aid next door to the grocery store.

  2. And have you let her know that she was a reassurance and an inspiration to you?

  3. Most definitely. I think she was surprised and a little embarrassed. I have never been shy or hesitant about expressing positive feedback. She didn't remember me at all but I assured her I will remember her and the hope for the future she gave me. I didn't do this in front of anyone other than her. I wanted it to be my personal gift of gratitude.