I’m regularly bothered by silly little episodes of rudeness, like kids yelling crap at me out of cars, or the other day when someone stole our Obama lawn sign. And I was just wondering if there were places where folks were considered more polite, respectful, and tolerant of others - either in the US or throughout the world.
I remember travelling out east, and thinking how civilized it was to actually have cars give pedestrians the right of way. Absolutely unthinkable in the Chicago area.
As I walk down the sidewalks in my Chicago suburb, if I pass another pedestrian, more often than not they will avert their eyes. I don’t need to stop and have a conversation - but it seems to me that eye contact and perhaps a slight head nod is not to much to offer another human.
Riding bikes the other day we passed 2 teens walking - they made eye contact with us and said “Hi.” A little thing that probably should not warrant mention - but it was so different from the sneering look I so often see on my area’s teens, that it really made an impression.
The other day I was walking along, and heard some words and giggling out of a passing car. I afforded them the benefit of the doubt and assumed they were just having a good old time - but when they turned the corner and I saw the kids in the back seat were pointing their fingers at us like guns, and laughing - and their parents were oblivious in the front seats, I had to give them the credit they were due.
All of these things are small by themselves, but in the aggregate, they say something unpleasant about my community, and how people view others.
So - are people assholes everywhere? Or are there any areas where peoples’ default setting is to politely coexist?
Is this something that ALWAYS existed? Because I do not recall it when I was younger in the 60s-70s. Or is it just that the rude minority is becoming more vocal in recent years/decades?