I first heard of “Generation Me” a year or so ago and was quick to agree that this generation of high school kids, college students, and 20-somethings fit that bill to a “T”. Kids these days are different than we were. They are self-centered and narcissistic.
But it wasn’t until I really started people watching and noticing others in my surroundings that I realized I was “hating” on youngsters and wrongly singling them out. There is an epidemic sweeping over us. Everywhere you go people only think of themselves. We have become a country of inconsiderate people.
Several months ago a woman in her mid-20s was talking on her cell phone at the counter of the Lake Jackson post office. She asked for an $800 money order, but when the clerk presented it to her she told him she asked for an $80 money order. He told her that if she would get off her phone he could help her better, but she began to berate him and insisted she was right. I heard the lady say “$800” but I stayed out of it. A few weeks later signs were installed at the counter telling people they wouldn’t be helped if they were talking on the phone. How about those annoying people at a restaurant sitting next to you on their phone talking loudly, thinking their conversation is more important than your trying to have a nice meal? People talking on a cell phone in public has become my biggest pet peeve. I guess it’s is called an “I”phone for a reason.
Parents dropping children off in the mornings create road rage everyday. There are those inconsiderate drivers who pull up just short of the front door so that their child won’t have to walk an extra 10 steps. If they pulled up far enough in the school driveway, a few extra vehicles could slide in to drop their child off and the line wouldn’t be 10 minutes long. Years ago, Rasco Middle School even had a teacher stationed in the driveway to wave cars up. There are also parents who stop on Lake Road in front of Rasco to drop off their children right in front of the signs that read “No loading or unloading”. Hey, it’s all about me and my situation.
The ultimate “me, me, me scenario” happens once a year. It’s called Black Friday and that’s when the term self-centered reaches its highest point. I read where people who are narcissistic tend to be more aggressive and less likely to help others. Bingo! Black Friday at Wal-Mart. Years ago, I witnessed a lady shove another lady over a box of trampolines during a Black Friday event. That was my last foray in the Black Friday freakshow.
“Narcissism” has become the go-to diagnosis by columnists, bloggers, and television psychologists. But let’s just get back to the days when we cared what others thought and tried to be conscientious of those around us.
Russell Burnett Jr. is an insurance agent at Best Insurance Services, Inc., and a resident of Lake Jackson, Texas.