Small Steps

Jul 26, 2012 by

My wife and I were at a well-known business today sitting in their customer lounge waiting for our business to conclude when one of the oddest things occurred. A man sat down across from us, slipped his feet out of his shoes, and put his bare feet up on the table in the center of the customer lounge. This table is where magazines and the television remote are located. I was shocked and amazed at this display of behavior. So, I promptly said to the man “that is not acceptable”. He looked at me, apologized, and proceeded to remove his feet from the table. My wife and I got up to conduct more business and upon returning, the man quickly scurried to remove his feet once again from the table. Did I need to explain why his actions were disgusting? I could tell that he was from the Pacific Rim area, which may have cultural differences, but really is this not common sense? Do I really have to explain why smelly and unsanitary feet should not be on a public table that people come in contact with?

Our history is filled, far too much, with our soldiers maimed or killed protecting our liberties and rights and we have a duty to act in a civilized manner when exercising them. We owe it to ourselves and those who paid the ultimate devotion to our country when civility is eroded with careless and insensitive action to be vigilant and act. We have two main avenues to preserve this country. One is the easiest, vote. The second takes place every day of our lives, to act with civility towards one another. A good friend of mine believes, I hope in jest, that someday harm will come to me if I continue to speak out when I see something like this take place. If our young men and women of the armed forces are willing to put themselves in harms way on a daily basis to protect civil society, then we should not be willing to allow it to be eroded from the inside. It is a very small but vital part that each citizen plays in defending our way of life.

Is this an insignificant act? Perceived insignificant acts have a way of becoming snowballs of destruction. Are our streets and highways safer, cleaner, and better maintained than they were ten years ago? Are people civil towards one another? Do not blame the political process for what is going on in America. We are to blame for what society is becoming. Wake up before it is too late.

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1 Comment

  1. Lord Fairfax

    The majority of people are basically peasants. Over the past two hundred years the American franchise has been steadily expanded and the average American now has too fine an opinion of her own autonomy. Autonomy is not a virtue in itself; it is only a means to virtue. As an aristocratic culture, a culture of social hierarchy declined in the nineteenth century, so to did the idea of adhering to some kind of external code of conduct which not only respects the autonomy of others but also ennobles oneself by acting nobly.

    The only modern American virtue is equality. But it is not the kind of equality that raises humans up; no, that is an aristocratic virtue. The American democracy on the contrary wishes to lower all people to the least common denominator. As de Tocqueville observed “American’s are so enamored with equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” The democratic spirit is a downward spiral of character. You therefore, acted quite contrary to the American character. You imposed a hierarchy of virtues onto some poor bumpkin, when the patriotic thing, the truly egalitarian thing would have been to shown your solidarity with the (cough) gentleman, removed your own shoes and regarded a public place as your own personal living room.

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