Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mind Your P's and Q's

Well. It's been a little while. Unfortunately this hiatus was not really of my choosing. Being a Junior is incredibly hectic. ACT, scheduling, sports (a lot of sports), refereeing for sports, homework, and a trip to DC. Most of that is all another story for another time except for my experiences in Washington DC.

I am a Midwest girl. I grew up smiling when I passed someone on the street, waving when I passed someone on the road, greeting my neighbors when I saw them, happily offering aid to anyone who needed it, pointing anyone in the right direction, and striking up conversations with random people when we stood in line at the grocery store. These traits, however, do not seem to be appreciated in other parts of the country. In fact, many of my attempts to be friendly while visiting the nation's capital were spurned. I'd smile as I'd pass someone on the street and they'd glare or look at me like I had two heads. I was very discouraged after a day or two of touring the city and finding that our glorious capital wasn't near as friendly as I expected.

This got me wondering. Thousands upon thousands of tourists take a pilgrimage to the birth of liberty only to be treated coldly and sometimes, rudely. What does this say about us? Let me assure you, our whole country is not like this. Though I have limited travel experience outside of the Midwest, I know people can be polite and courteous. You always hear people saying that we need more good in this world, yet if you dropped your keys on the street with an armload of stuff, would they go out of their way to pick them up? I doubt it.

I'm not complaining and going on and on about how society is terrible and we should all just crawl in a hole and die. That is very much not my purpose. My purpose is to bring light to issues such as these so that more people realize what's going on. So, I'm going to challenge you. I want you to be nice. Yup. Nice. There's a novel concept. Haha. Smile. Strike up a conversation with your cashier. Tip your waitress a little extra. Help the person struggling with all their stuff. Just... be nice.