The World As I See It
Slamming elevator doors. Bumped shoulders. Glowering stares. Harsh snickers. Stolen cabs. All of this before 9 a.m. Welcome to Chicago.
Accountant by day, I have commuted to the bustling city of Chicago for six years. I have toted the large bag filled with reading materials to fill my 45 minute train ride into the city. Engrossed in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I dream of a world filled with manners. I don’t ask for much. Hold the door for the person behind you instead of letting it slam into their startled face. Give up your seat to the old man with a cane standing on the train next to you. Speak nicely to the Starbucks barista attempting to fill you with legal stimulants instead of continuing your conversation via cell phone with your angry spouse screaming on the other end.
The world as I see it is in a sad state. Chicago native, I am awestruck at the incredulous distance and anger the common man holds its brethren. No eye contact. No smiles. Simple individualism swarms the everyday streets of Chicago.
People engrossed by their cell phones, manners fly out the window. People bump into each other and, when awakened by this nudge, are enraged by another being encroaching on said space. “How could that person bump into me?” “How rude.” “Weren’t they watching where they were going?” Cell phone abuser doesn’t stop to think that perhaps it was he or she that wasn’t paying attention and walked diagonally into someone else.
Get angry. That is the answer. Swear. Put that person in their place. That is the reaction most get when bumped back into reality.
We are all guilty of being asleep at the wheel. We go through the motions of life without clarity. Without seeing. Day in and day out we take the same path to work, but do we notice the vigor of life? Do we stop and smell the roses?
“Stop and smell the roses? No time for that. Wait … what roses?” Living in the Now is difficult.
Terrified to correct the manners of others. We live in a society where violence is the first answer to everything. Might is right. If I so much as point out the rudeness of another I am in fear of being punched, shot, or stabbed. At 5’2” I am no match for most. What is the answer? And furthermore, if I live by these standards how can I possibly continue when bombarded by constant rudeness? How many bumps, slamming doors, closing elevators will it take to make me join the rest under the cover of darkness?