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Jeffers: It’s all about me?

Posted: May 21, 2017 - 12:25am

I'm constantly noticing nowadays, and have been seeing this phenomenon occurring for quite some time really, that people think everything is either all about them individually, or about their immediate families.

I believe that we are commanded to love one another, and as they say, love is an action verb.

In traffic, how many times have you been cut off because someone just HAD to get somewhere three hours ago? Life and limb seem to hold no boundaries for many self-serving motorists, who will either ride firmly attached to your rear bumper, or swerve crazily around you, leaving NO space between you and their car. Then, mercy me, if I hit them, it's probably going to be my fault.

In a store, don't try to look at anything on a shelf more than two minutes, because I assure you the "get out the way" squad will show up, desperately and suddenly in need of a colander or mustard.

Even the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday's isn't safe anymore. I have honestly waited until no one was in line before going up to tentatively grab a green or two, and that same crowd that can't wait for three seconds arrives right behind me.

I've told such folks to "go ahead," the second-most used phrase in a southern woman's repertoire, next to "bless your heart," but to no avail.

This may have started when the children of us baby-boomers were young. I remember, much to our surprise, how every little dude on a baseball team, got a trophy at the end-of-the-year soiree at CiCi's, sometimes no matter if he'd even missed half the games and slept through the rest.

But who was I to complain? A hundred-year-old turtle on Ambien could have outrun my oldest around a field. He did try to bring himself home eventually, but hitting was more his forte.

And when did it start that all children in a family get gifts on any one individual's birthday? I have given and been present at countless parties, and seen temper tantrums flowing if the honoree got more than his "share" of the loot.

But I think what disturbs me most about the "it's all about me" trend is how insidiously it's growing in both large and small ways.

I saw it as a teacher over and over. Students expected to get an "A" for effort, no matter how disastrous their essays were. And many parents joined right in with them.

One young man's mother wouldn't even speak to me after I caught him plagiarizing his paper, word for word, from the Chicago Sun-Times. She too was in school, and informed me very matter-of-factly that she "had done the same thing herself, quite often."

Our prisons are bulging with people who thought what they wanted or needed was far more desirable than societal considerations.

And our government. What can I really say? Are there any statesmen left? I certainly hope so.

It is impossible to really love anyone, including oneself, when this ego problem takes center stage. Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. The Bible tells us so.

Mindy Kitchens is a newly married, retired English teacher, and longtime resident of Columbia County. Until she gets everything changed, you can still e-mail her at mindyjeffers@hotmail.com.

 

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