April 14, 2008

  • Is it SO difficult to put stuff back properly?

    I was just at SuperTarget and it's astounding how, if one pays attention, there is stuff strewn throughout the grocery area that is out of place.  A small tub of ice cream nestled amongst the hairspray.  A box of Pim's cookies peeking out from behind a display of make-up bags.  I've seen canned vegetables in with the yogurt, peanut butter looking awkward between rolls of paper towels, and so on.

    Out in the parking lot one of the basket wranglers had to pull a grocery cart off the grass median, even though the cart station was two cars down.  It's too much trouble to walk the width of two cars so as to put the cart where it belongs?  It's really that much faster to shove it up on the grass, over the curb?

    Jeepers, but we're a lazy lot.

Comments (9)

  • Sounds like those fine folks from Como are still at it. ;)

  • I have been thinking about how lazy people are these days, my kids and myself included. Margaret, who loves ballet, didn't want to go to ballet yesterday b/c they make her do exercises and things she doesn't want to do. She wants to be in the recital and all, she just doesn't want to work for it. (You know the recital is Sunday, May 4th at 2:00, right?) I've been trying to talk to them about "DUTY" but it just isn't getting through. I can't imagine how well a draft would go over these days. "But I don't WANT to!!!!"

  • You know, that's an interesting point...I wonder if the abolishing of the draft decades ago effectively undermined Americans' regard for duty? The draft was a unifying duty for at least half the population. It was a duty one's father probably fulfilled, and one's brothers, friends, etc. It seems as if once the draft was abolished, many other once widely-respected forms of duty have declined (to go to church, get married, etc.).

    We'll get her cousin Alex onto Margaret about the necessity of painstakingly performing those (boring) exercises. He insists those are the difference between an average performer and an above-average performer. Back when he was teaching he could readily discern which students had practiced their exercises, and which hadn't.

    And you bet, it's on my calendar!

  • At Margaret's age, she's only learning about "duty" and doing the hard stuff when you don't want to. If you keep making her go to ballet and do her duty, and also teach and require this in other areas, she will learn about doing her duty. IMO, while things like the draft may have been additional societal supports to the notion of duty, the reason people used to be able to do their duty was because they were taught from early ages, and the reason they don't any more, is because they aren't. Think about it -- how many parenting magazines out there have articles on "teaching your kids to do their duty?" Stuff like that is anathema in modern thinking, really. It's all about helping your kids become what they want to be. Certainly developing their gifts and aspirations is important, but there's no place in that kind of ons-sided thinking for doing the stuff you don't want to do simply because you should. Yet that's almost the universal mentality, and not just when it comes to child-rearing.

    So, just keep teaching them to do it, Elaine. Children are children because they aren't grown up and haven't learned these things yet, and while it's good to teach and explain it to them, don't expect them to "get it" without lots and lots of enforced practice. When they're grown up (and hopefully, by the time they're preteens) is when they'll start to show signs of getting it.

    Okay, confession time. I have occasionally left an item in the wrong place in the store, because golly, some of those stores are BIG and it's a trek to go all the way back when you're nearly done. BUT, I'm more likely to just buy the thing anyway figuring I'll use it eventually (if it's a small food item), and I wouldn't leave something perishable out unless I was in the midst of some sort of genuine emergency.

  • sorry about the tag -- hope this workd.

  • Lazy indeed.  As a lazy bred American, I find it hard to talk myself into going anywhere here in Japan, because there is no parking, it costs too much to drive, so I'd have to walk to the train station and take a train to where I am going.  People do this all the time, even in America (Chicago and New York, in particular).  Why is this so hard for me?  It's like going to Six Flags and driving around till you find the closest parking spot, just to get out and walk all day long.  I'm guilty of this, but why?  Laziness is one of my negative character traits I've been convicted of lately (or maybe it's just plain worn out).

  • Are you taking your vitamins, Beth??? Iron and B vitamins help with fatigue!! And what's weird, referring back to doing one's duty, is that

    I do what I am supposed to do but when it comes time to do what I maybe should do eventually, the computer wins!! Someday I'm going to finish putting

    old photos on the computer and filing them. Someday. Soon. Reallly. I promise. Eventually. Sigh

  • I hope so, Mom.

    It's your duty.

  • There's a name for that phenomona, naturally, which I can't remember, naturally, but it means that given how many hundreds of people shop in the store, if each one of them only leaves something out of place once a year there are still lots of things out of place every day.  But still, it shows the impact that doing something "just this once" has on everyone else.  Sorta like the classic line about a child wanting to pick a flower ("Only ONE!  Please, pretty please?") from a public garden:  "What if everyone picked one flower?  Then there wouldn't be any left."

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