death by paper cut

{July 4, 2005}   what “un-makes” your day?

a man with very slow reaction stood rooted when the lift door opened.
other people trying to enter missed the “trip”.

pedestrains were crossing the road leisurely even when the red man flashed.
vehicles can’t run them down.

how would you instinctively react? on both accounts, i witnessed my dad turn very ugly.
did it solve the situation?

there is right of way
and then there is graciousness

that being said, there are situations where confrontation is necessary.

i was rollerblading at east coast park one evening with a friend who was still quite wobbly. we were upslope near the seafood resturants where i encountered a family playing remote controlled cars on the cyclist lane. it was getting dark, the small cars were darting around, the family formed a blockade at the peak of the slope, cyclist and skaters were negiotating around them. I went up to(what I presumed to be) the father and told him it is dangerous for skaters. to which he replied matter-of-factly, “the car is so small, why don’t you just try to aviod it?”
I retorted,” no, we shouldn’t be the ones avioiding it, you are on the cyclist lane”, for a second he wouldn’t budge, so i stood there waiting for a reaction. he and his family finally moved away, muttering (i presume cursing) under his breath.

in that same week, i encountered another sociopath (in the making) at the library at the Club – an upper primary school boy was playing with his handheld game at full volume, with his mother sleeping at the next seat. the other people in the library obviously took offence to that, casted glares in his directions and made disapproving utterances, but no one took proactive action till i went up to this boy and whispered to him to turn off the volume, “…this is a library, people read silently here”.

i don’t think there is a difference in people’s social etiquette whether in the heartland or at a orchard road-ish place. the same thread that run in the 3 examples (including the hyperlink) is that the parent was present to condone, no rather, to endorse blatant acts of incivility.

well at least as a teacher, i know my colleagues and i do not let the brats go “scot free”.


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