Monday, January 11, 2016

Grin and Bear it

This past summer, I was visiting family and walking up the main street in town.  The sidewalk was just big enough for two people to walk side by side.  Typically, people walking down the sidewalk made room for each other.  If they were walking with someone and saw another coming in the opposite direction, one would move over so that there was room for all to pass.

However, I noticed that not everyone did.  Some would walk with others down the street and continued to do so, even as they saw people coming towards them.  When I encountered such persons, I would automaticaly step on to the grass or street so that they could pass.  In response, they did not say thank you nor even give a smile of acknowledgement or apology; they just kept walking as if I was not even there.

After this happened for the third time, I realized in shock that these people expected me to move out of their way.  They felt entitled and had no consideration for others. They would just bogart their way and expected everyone else to just get out of their way.  Even worse was the realization that I instinctively deferred to these persons every time, without hesitation. Why was I so diffident?

The next time I saw such persons, I did not move.  I did not sidestep into the street.  I stood my ground right where I was. Some eventually moved over so that we all could pass each other.  Some never did, even bumping into me and looking at me as if I had lost my mind for not moving out of their way. I began to wonder why some - by their behavior - seemed to believe that they were worth more than others, while such as myself - by our behavior - seemed to believe that we were worth nothing.