Archive for September, 2014

How Rude

Three and half-year-old granddaughter Kayla is an avid fan of reruns of the old TV series “Full House.” It was a favorite of her grandfather’s and mine when it originated. Kayla is a lover of words and expressions that appeal to her, so it comes as no surprise that she’s adopted Stephanie’s frequent saying of “how rude” into her ever-increasing vocabulary. Kayla knows how and when to apply the expressions she picks up.

Recently when we went up Mount Lemon for a brief vacation in a cabin in Summerhaven, we stopped at one of the popular points that looks out over Tucson. When we got out of the truck, and started to walk to the point, we had to make sure we didn’t step on dog droppings.

I said, “It’s good that people bring their dogs to enjoy nature, but it’s unfortunate that they neglect to pick up their poop.”

“How rude!” Kayla said.

We continued walking out to the point and found huge rock formations defaced with graffiti. I commented on how people couldn’t enjoy nature without messing it up for other people.

“How rude!” Kayla said.

The next day, we went for a walk in one of the Coronado National Forest picnic areas. It was the day after Labor Day and the picnic areas looked like disaster areas littered with the disposable debris of people’s picnics. One table not even twenty feet from a trash can still held used paper plates, balled up paper napkins, bunched up aluminum cans, and plastic forks. There were even lemon rinds and dried up strawberries.

“The people couldn’t even bother to pick up their trash and throw it away.” I said.

“How rude!” Kayla said.

It made me think about how inconsiderate people have become, how rude, how uncaring about other people. What happened to the values I grew up with, the values I taught my children, my students? The code of behavior that made us ensure that whenever we were using or enjoying something, whether it was a borrowed item or a picnic in a park, we returned it or left it in the condition in which we found it. We had expectations that others felt the same way that we did and that we would find things like picnic areas in a usable condition.

It’s annoying and sad that this is no longer true. It seems that many in our country have become people who look out only for their own needs and comforts and don’t think about others, whether it’s the people who come after them to enjoy the park or the people who have to clean up their mess.


Elena Díaz Bjorkquist ©September 2, 2014





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