Compassion and common sense, gone forever?

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/17/2011 ( 55 moms have responded )

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I struggle with this constantly. My heart aches everytime I see a dog wandering the streets. A person blocking an entire isle in the grocery store with their shopping cart. People letting their kids run off in stores, or out into streets.

What has America become? Has it always been this bad and I just feel it all? Are other countries just like ours? Better? Worse?

What do you do to help your community? I am looking for inspiration and all of your thoughts on any of this.

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Amber - posted on 06/17/2011

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I think it depends on where you live. I've traveled all over America; I've been to 38 states. In all states, there have been assholes...some just have more than others.

My family members have been on almost every continent...and they say the same. Some communities are amazing and some just suck.

Donna - posted on 06/19/2011

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Parents of today do not have the devotion to making their kids into a getter generation for tomorrow. They are too busy with their own life and jobs and interests of their own. I have always put being a Mom before ANYTHING in my life and always will.

Nikki - posted on 06/18/2011

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“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world.

As I grew older and wiser I discovered the world would not change –
So I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country, but it too seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now I realize as I lie on my deathbed, if I had only changed myself first, then by example I might have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement I would then have been able to better my country,

And who knows, I might have even changed the world.”

- inscription on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in Westminster Abbey

Amy - posted on 06/17/2011

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I personally have thought about quiting my job and starting a business teaching common sense for those people who don't have any. If we all think about it we probably all know someone who lacks it! However I don't have much compassion for those who don't have common sense so I'm probably one of those people you are referring to,
I honestly believe their are rude and inconsiderate people everywhere! What I've found is the nicer you are to them the angrier they become so that's what I do, I kill them with kindness! Afterall I think 90% of the time they are just looking for someone to engage them so they can get their frustrations out on but if you don't engage them it just riles them up even more.

Tamara - posted on 06/17/2011

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Around here most of the inconsiderate people are really old and moody who feel that since they are old they are entitled to everything. Most of the time other people are respectful and helpful.

I feel that the best thing we can do in our community is to teach our children these traits that we wish others had. To me they are our future and if we give them the right tools these things will carry on.

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Sunelle - posted on 06/23/2011

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I am very impatient, which doesn't help with two small children at the end of the month in a supermarket to go grocery shopping! My answer? I get my shopping list ready, make sure I get a car trolley, so that both kids are safely strapped in, start at one point and... sing! I know it sounds crazy, but humming softly to myself, helps me to stay sane and when I sing, I automatically smile, which leads to friendlier reactions from other shoppers. Try it!

Lianna - posted on 06/23/2011

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We can be hopeful in the fact that we are able to try our best to instill good judgment in our children and be careful in how they are raised. If we take these bad examples in society and even try to teach our children what not to do that can be a learning experience for them. Children will pick up on how we do or don't react to these kind of situations.

Amy - posted on 06/22/2011

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I think it's BOTH our own impatience and the rudeness of others. I've "told off" an old man for cutting in line in front of my 3 year old son who was waiting patiently to buy popcorn at the Target concession counter. There's NO impatience about that... I've had people give me dirty looks and refuse to move their carts at the grocery store after I've politely said "excuse me" more than once. And I know there are days when people are doing the best they can and they still bug me.

We are in such a hurry.

We are so much into the "mind your own business" frame of mind, that we LET people get away with being insufferably rude.

Our heroes (athletes and stars) don't suffer consequences when they break the rules (laws) so why should we?

I think the problem (on both ends of the spectrum) is basically about our own sense of entitlement. So I try to recognize it. I try to speak up when someone is behaving badly. I try to remember patience when I'm feeling badly. I know I don't always succeed... but I'm trying. :)

Erica - posted on 06/22/2011

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Nichole, I live in a rural town in Alabama. I used to live 15 minutes outside of Baltimore, Maryland. I used to be think the whole world was terrible, turns out it was just the place I lived. Here in the town I live in now, people are so sweet and caring to everyone. Yes, there are dogs and cats running around like crazy and we have ended up with 3 dogs because people think if they drop them off in a rich neighborhood, they'll be taken care of. Turns out they were right with these dogs, however, out of the 5 years I've lived in this particular house, we've seen about 10 dogs dropped off and 8 of them mysteriously disappeared. People aren't afraid to "get rid" of the dogs around here. It can be terrible, but I don't have any control over that. I digress... Our town is mostly elderly people, our county is a dry one. If you haven't heard that phrase, it means it's illegal to sell alcohol here. I love living in this small town. We have a Wal-Mart, a Piggly Wiggly and a couple of dollar stores. It's like a big family, people watch out for each other's kids, even if they don't know each other's names.
It's not all of America, but I'm not surprised you've run into a lot of bad people. After all, you live in California :)

Elisabeth - posted on 06/22/2011

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Modern society and the way it is progressing scares and saddens me - and I think it is the same the world over?

Common sense, logic, respect and empathy seem to have been taken over by selfishness, greed and violence.

Patience doesn't seem to exist anymore - everybody wants everything now and get angry and take it out on those around them when they can't have what they want straight away.

It is like we have forgotten that not too long ago we had to wait for mail, we had to wait our turn in a line, we didn't have message services so if a phone line was engaged we just had to ring back later ... we have become so accustomed to getting what we want straight away and instead of being grateful for it, we have just become more demanding and entirely unappreciative.

We now have road rage! Whoever would have thought 20 years ago that people can be bashed or even killed because of the way they treat others on the road?

Respect of property and personal space seems to be a thing of the past. And these days I think there are many who don't even now what self respect is.

Life is moving too fast and a whole way of life is being lost as it happens.

[deleted account]

I LOVE thrift stores, where we live we have them scattered ALL over. There are about 10 within 5-10 min. of our house. Love it! @Nicole I bought a P.I.N.K. Victoria Secret Shitrt for 4 bucks one day then I found a pink clutch victoria secret purse for $5, both in damn near new condition.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/22/2011

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Ohhhhh I miss good thrift stores. Everything is so yuppy here in California it's an 'antique shop' that charges MORE than going price, or what it sold for, maaaaaybe a little cheaper than you could find it elsewhere. Some of the junk they have in them too is insane. It's bad. Also, they want almost the same price for a new tshirt as places like Walmart or even a sale rack at some stores. It's like really? That's bad..... jeans too. They want like 8$ for them here. Yikes

Lianna - posted on 06/22/2011

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I'm from the midwest and thankfully there are a lot of places in this area that are still quite old-fashioned. What the younger generations are going to do with that I don't know. But it is encouraging to still have thrift stores, websites like freecycle.org, and a general appreciation for recycling things and helping other people out.

[deleted account]

America has a 'cowboy' economy. If it breaks, throw it away and buy a new one. How long has it been since you saw a 'shoe repair shop' or a 'tv repair shop'?

Jaime - posted on 06/21/2011

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Nikki, your excuse is exactly why I don't get up in arms when I'm out in public and someone gets in my way. I just don't know and unless they are blatantly being rude to me, I don't see a point in getting upset or more than that, attributing that one idiot's rudeness to the downfall of society. As much as we want everyone else to be compassionate and use common sense, we can't expect much from strangers because we just don't know.

Nikki - posted on 06/21/2011

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On a side note, I realize people are not too keen on "making excuses", but I'd like to throw out there my "excuse" for when people have thought I was being rude in the grocery store aisle, @ a movie theatre, etc. I lost my left periferal vision after brain surgery to remove a golf ball sized tumor a few years back, it has been an adjustment and I forget to pay attention to my left sometimes still. I am not generally a rude person, overly commpassionate some would say, but I too have moments and people get soo upset, instead of saying excuse me, they assume I am just blocking their way to be rude. I am not and would never. I doubt I am the only person with such issues, so don't be afraid to say excuse me if someone is standing in your way, they may not be able to see or hear you trying to get by. I wish you ALL the Best day of your life tomorrow along with Health, Wealth, and much Happieness~ :)

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/21/2011

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Makes me think of Bill Burr, he's a comedian. He said heck no, he doesn't have kids. He's way too messed up and angry to have kids and doesn't think it's okay to download all his issues onto their pristine minds so they go to school and someone asks 'Jimmy, what's 2 +2?" "daddy doesn't trust the government he keeps all the money in the walls" lol
so true..... too many people just passing the DER along

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/21/2011

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Exactly..... productive memeber of society. Not a friend, a child. Trying to raise an adult. I think there are way too many people who forget this when they have kids now. Expecially when they have never self actualized, they are children themselves raising children. It's a mess.

[deleted account]

Nichole you are so right !!! The country has become so lax in so many ways. Every generation learns from their parents, but probably only retains 75% of what they were taught. So with each generation less and less is retained.

I blame some of it on the ‘experts’ that come up with all the ‘cutting edge’ ideas on how to raise kids. Of course, most of them have never raised kids! Some of the local schools have removed team type sports from PE classes because the last kid picked feels bad about being last. Get over it, that’s life. Being last should give someone motivation to strive to do better.

We take the drive and motivation away from our kids by telling them it’s ok to fail. We keep lowering their ‘standards’. When they get out in the real world, there will be times they fail.

Too many times, parents try to be their kid’s best friend, not a parent. Of course that is easier, but it eliminates many chances to instill the ethics and principles needed to become a productive member of society.

Lianna - posted on 06/21/2011

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I also think Jeannie makes a good point about being able to confront people that are being an issue for you. Some people are not totally aware of what they're doing, and they might be able to learn something if someone would speak up to them and politely just mention it. Maybe no one's ever said anything so they don't see a problem with what they're doing, and that's one way we can try to help others. If they don't change, you can at least say you tried. And not saying anything directly to solve the problem, is being somewhat passive aggressive and therefore not accomplishing anything. That's a huge thing I've learned, because we can sit around and gripe and be upset about what someone is doing, but we have no excuse when we consider why we didn't do anything to try to stop it or change things in some way. So I say confont the issue and see what happens.
She also mentioned our judgment of a situation, which is basically only an assumption until you get the whole story, so again if you can confront the issue respectfully you may learn a thing or two and teach something to someone else as well.

Lianna - posted on 06/21/2011

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I know how you feel. I'm one of those people who seem to be incredibly sensitive to subjects like this, and have to try sometimes to accept and/or ignore the bad things in our world to feel better. I think being a good person, expressing awareness of the good or bad impact one can have on the rest of the world is a good place to start. People need to consciously know that what they do affects others, not living in their own little world. I am one to do my best to avoid negatively affecting the rest of the world, doing what I can to help anyone or anything and not stepping on anyone or anything without knowing it. That doesn't mean not having a back bone and not knowing how to take care of one's self. We all have needs but it just comes down to having awareness about how much we can offer of ourselves to help, when our needs are met, what we can give to others, including animals, the environment, not just people.

Katherine - posted on 06/19/2011

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Around where I live people are extremely rude. No dogs wandering but not holding doors, not letting cars in, being jerks on the road etc....

I think everyone should pay it forward, just like the movie. If someone does something kind for you, do something kind for someone else.

I am a member of so many things in the community. I am very involved with my daughters school. You all know I admin about 10 communities, and it's all volunteer. I love doing it.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/19/2011

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More and more people are becoming self-centered. They can't see beyond the fog of their own problems and/or desires. Just the common curtsey of a thank you wave when you let someone out in traffic is becoming a rarity. I think that most of the people causing the problem are actually victims of too much lack of compassion themselves. Maybe I/we can do something to change that. In response to Nicholes post, I started a new thread. A better world. Let's show her that compassion is not dead.

Alavisi - posted on 06/19/2011

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Wow! When I read this I thought I was the only who who cringes when I see families walking across the street and not even holding on to their kids. The dogs, thing doesn't get me so much - Because I know that they will survive. Yeah and some people are extremely rude with the cart in stores. What about when you're taking public transportation and these obnoxious teenagers get on talking at the top of their lungs, cussing and roasting people, and don't have any respect for themselves, elders, pregnant women other races, etc. The overly excessive use of the N-word, Its just disgusting.

Roberta - posted on 06/19/2011

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I believe Nichole that compassion and caring starts at home. If you can bring your kids up to respect themselves, their parents and those around them, including nature, eg. animals, trees etc. you will have done an excellent job. My three sons are grown up but they all were in the scouting movement. Their motto there was about respect, sharing (at the Beaver level 5-8 years old) and certainly taught them about nature and how to respect the animals and the rest of nature. We can change the world but it starts at home.

Jeannie - posted on 06/19/2011

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Nicole, no I'm not trying to be too kind, I was responding to a vague statement, there are times when it's obvious that people are just plain selfish, but then again, it's common courtesy to let the pedestrian have the right of way, even if you were backing out first. Whom do you think the police would blame if you ran over her?

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/18/2011

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Well they are either idiots or jerks. Take your pick

[deleted account]

I think it's gone forever. Everything these days is so casual. I can't believe how many parents let their kids swear. Very few actually care about what their kids are watching on tv. We were not exposed to this stuff on tv as children. It's sad, and there is no excuse. People have always been busy, but children come first. It takes time to show them how to be civilized and well mannered, but it's worth it. Too many parents take the easy way out, or they just want them to fit in so they let them do what they want.

Sherri - posted on 06/18/2011

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Nichole I think that is what most are saying that it really isn't that common and once they realize it they quickly move and apologize. Heck I ran into a ladies shopping cart the other day, did I do it on purpose NO. I simply didn't see her and very quickly apologized.

Things happen and most times it isn't intentional for people to be rude at all.

Seems you are looking for reasons to also not be so compassionate of others, yourself. I find you don't see the good in anyone but rather you find the negative. I don't think everyone is out to get you just to be rude to you, but it seems that is what you see.

I bet if you were a tad bit more patient your outlook may be very different.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/18/2011

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I'm surprised how everyone is responding. Most of you are saying that 'it's okay because they have other things on their minds'

Therefore, it's okay if they get into an accident and Tbone your car and kill your kid, because they had other things on their mind?

I mean seriously, I've had people look at me in a store, and keep blocking the isle. I'm not talking about 1 rude person. I'm talking about a society of it.

Just earlier today some lady almost ripped off my door to my car because she wanted to park while I was getting out...... she couldn't wait 5 seconds for me to get out of the way.

I think there are way too many excuses being made. I think people need to be more respectful of everyone around them and their surroundings and that it isn't okay to 'have other things on our minds' because it leads to rude behavior. Seriously, go to a store and look around. How many people are oblivious? Rude? Running you over? Bumping into you?

Compassion for fellowmankind, and common sense for their surroundings. Why do I have to be the one constantly smiling at rude people? Why don't these people get a grip and grow up.

Martha - posted on 06/18/2011

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It's good to realize that everyone of us is guilty of such behavior too. We don't know the cause or the motivation and sometimes it might be best to put a compassionate spin on those whom we find annoying. Mistakes are made. Sins committed. Accidents happen. We shouldn't judge others whom we meet only once or occasionally. But then again I do too.

Jamey - posted on 06/18/2011

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Remember , everyone is going through something. And regardless of where you live, there is Good and Bad everywhere. Just continue to be a good one and teach others how to be and one day, hopefully, it will all even out.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/18/2011

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Lol Jeannie your just way too kind....... I just think people around here are inconsiderate and stupid.

I once had a lady almost run my boyfriend and I over while pushing a shopping cart because she didn't want to wait for us to walk by the empty stall she wanted. Her response when I said WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM, you almost hit our SON! "I didn't see the baby" yeah, that makes it okay.

Or the dumb lady who walked behind our car while we were already backing up?!!? Then she yells at us? No, I'm really beginning to hate society lol

Jeannie - posted on 06/18/2011

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If you see a dog wandering the streets, and the dog will let you come up to him, take him home and call the humane society. My dog has been missing since late March 2011, If someone would do that, I would have him back by now, since they have all my information. As far as people blocking the aisle in the grocery store, simply say excuse me, you don't know whether or not it is intentional, they may simply have alot on their minds, and don't realize they are blocking the aisle. As for people letting their kids run off in stores, some children are harder to control than others and most people don't have the whole story. Judge not, lest you be judged.

Tyrae - posted on 06/17/2011

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Personally I think that every place has it's jerks. Most people are way too impatient these days, but it's the way we all grew up. We all grew up on the go, always having to be somewhere by a certain time, having to do so much in such a small amount of time. It's the way society itself has been built that has started this nonsense.

Since I've become a stay at home mom, I've noticed I'm a lot more patient, I don't feel like I need to be somewhere as soon as I can, I'm not always in a rush (unless hubby is rushing me). I take my time and I look around, enjoy the world, and I've become a much happier person because of it. When I pass people on the street I give them a smile, and I say hello. Some people happily say it back, some look at me like I'm crazy and other's don't pay any attention to me at all. And I will smile and say hi to anyone (unless they look really drugged up), the elderly, the handicapped, children. I say smile to them all. It's not how I was brought up, but it's what I feel is right, and I know it makes their day better as it makes my day better to be doing it.

I would love to do some community service or volunteering, but my daughter is still too young for me to leave her with anyone for an extended period of time. But I will be volunteering when she gets a bit older.

JuLeah - posted on 06/17/2011

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People are people and have always been .... we are over crowded, rushed, hurried, and lacking the basics of life. We are stressed beyond belife, we don't eat well, we don't get enough sleep, we don't know one another, we have not really taught our children self respct, self care, or manners .....

I volunteer in my daughter's calssroom once a week. I do math assessments and I think for some kids, I am an adult who listens and sees them. I can tell from their reactions that many don't get that much.

I volunteer with a victums support team ... working with victums of domestic violence

I volunteer as a CASA court appointed special advocate for children in foster care ....

This is what I have time for now, but all my life I have volunteered with some program

More, I make effort to smile and greet poeple I see on the street .... clerks behind the counter ... entertain todders waiting in oine when the parent seems at a breaking point .... it is the little stuff that matters

Jaime - posted on 06/17/2011

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I have a friend (not much of one anymore really) that always likes to point out how long it takes me to do things. If I'm even two minutes late to something or it takes me a few minutes to get out the door and she's kept waiting, she has no problem telling me that I'm the slowest person in the world. I always want to say to her "did you ever consider that you're just extremely impatient?"...but that would inevitably lead to an argument and a snarky attitude from her so I let it go...and thus we don't hang out anymore. My point being, there are always going to be people that want others to jump up or run through hoops for them and so instead of worrying about a lack of common sense or compassion I think, like Jodi said putting back the positive is the best way to handle it. Or in my case, not reacting to my friend's asshole comments. Like Teresa said 'some people are rude, annoying and clueless...but some people are awesome'! And I would even go as far as to say that most people are awesome.

Jodi - posted on 06/17/2011

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I am an active participant at school, and co-ordinate the fundraising/events, which in turn, assists in our children's educational resources, as well as gives our children some positive outlets for their energies :) That's how I contribute to our community. I have volunteered many hours organising school discos, Christmas gifts, a walkathon, the school fete, and small events that promote community spirit (such as mothers day breakfasts, fathers day breakfasts, car boot sales and the like).



It all provides the community with a positive influence AND a sense of cohesiveness, IMO. To me, it is also a way to get to know many of the parents in the community as well, AND the children :) I can't fix things, but I do feel like some positives in everyone's lives is a step in the right direction.

Therese - posted on 06/17/2011

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Concentrate on what u can do, what is good and what is right, we can't fix the whole world but we can teach our kids to be kind and respectful, we can find a cause close to our heart and volunteer in some way and practice one random act of kindness every week, and finally, pass the message onto your friends.

Sabrina - posted on 06/17/2011

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We find that living in a small town, that is a total tourist trap, leads to many rude people. Most of our everyday locals are just fine. However, we all find ourselves getting short tempered. Easiest. Way to handle rude and obnoxious people is to smile and offer the niceness of Idaho Springs. Impatient and tired skiers respond better to kindness, than returning rude behavior.

Sabrina - posted on 06/17/2011

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We find that living in a small town, that is a total tourist trap, leads to many rude people. Most of our everyday locals are just fine. However, we all find ourselves getting short tempered. Easiest. Way to handle rude and obnoxious people is to smile and offer the niceness of Idaho Springs. Impatient and tired skiers respond better to kindness, than returning rude behavior.

[deleted account]

I think the biggest impact is a smile. Just smiling saying hello, good morning, have a nice day or whatever else . Its very contagious. In fact , I got infected at 4am when my baby wokeup and was smiling at me. Then a few people at the store got it too!!

[deleted account]

Some people are rude. Some people are annoying. Some people are clueless. And some people are awesome. :)

KAZ - posted on 06/17/2011

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Yes i have my off days, but then i have the days where I handle the people like JL does and boy it just makes my shopping experience a lot easier. Even sometimes get a smile from those in the way.

Jaime - posted on 06/17/2011

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Exactly...I will admit that I'm not a patient person at the best of times, but I definitely recognize that it's MY problem and that makes me more aware that when someone does something that annoys me, it's not usually their fault. I have just really started taking notice of my reaction to people around me. If I am going shopping there is a certain level of patience I will need to have in order to do it successfully...otherwise I might as well forget about it.

Amber - posted on 06/17/2011

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@JL~ Good point :) People really don't have a lot of patience anymore.

I always try to smile at rude people. They aren't really sure how to take it. I don't know if it makes a difference, but I'd like to hope the confusion they feel makes them hesitate next time.

Tamara - posted on 06/17/2011

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I agree JL peoples patience are running thinner, it seems that a lot of times people are in a rush and anything that slows them down upsets them.

Jaime - posted on 06/17/2011

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Ya, I don't think that compassion or common sense are gone. I think it's patience that we all fall short on sometimes. I can get annoyed with the guy that's blocking the aisle in the store, or I can realize that maybe he's not even paying attention because his mind wandered off for a few minutes while reading the back of a box of something he wants to buy. It's not that he's being rude...he just doesn't realize he's blocked the aisle. So I just politely say 'excuse me' and all is well. I've had a person drive by me and yell for me to get my "fat ass out of the way" when crossing at an intersection with my son. Rude and uncalled for definitely, but not the end of the world. I really try to be patient and respectful of others when I'm sharing a space with them, but I can't expect too much from someone that I don't know because then I'm always going to be annoyed and disappointed. I'd rather enjoy a bit more time at the grocery store than leave miserable because someone got in my way.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/17/2011

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I miss it up there...... :( I'm from western. Live in Cali now. Haaaate it.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/17/2011

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Where do you live, if you don't mind me asking?

Sherri - posted on 06/17/2011

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We don't have dogs running the streets. A few people block the aisles then realize it quickly apologize and move. I really find more people are compassionate than not. You always find the rude person however, often I find that to be the rarity.

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