Saturday, August 18, 2007

"I'm Not the Center of the Universe"

I bet this sounds familiar to you: Last night my wife and I went to see a movie. The movie was rated PG-13 and started after 7:00pm; two weeks ago we went to see a movie at a different theater, it was also rated PG-13 and started around 8:00pm. Both times our experience was diminished by crying babies and loud toddlers. Both times multiple parents made the decision to bring their infants and three-year-olds to weekend theaters full of adults. The kids weren't there to see the movies, they were their for their parents convenience, and everyone else's distraction.

It seems to me that more and more, we as a society are losing our sense of "otherness." So many people seem to think that what they want is more important than the impact their actions have on the people around them. Little consideration is given to how our actions might impact others, the only thing that matters is that "I get what I want, when I want it, no matter the circumstances, no matter the effect on other people."

It's troubling.

I know plenty of parents of young kids who lament the fact that they haven't been to a movie since their kids were born. It's not that they don't want to go, it's that they don't want to negatively impact other people if their children act like most children act when they're bored and in the dark. But this type of commen courtesy seems to be slipping away from us.

What does this have to do with Farmers Branch?

We have a fabulous public library. Everyone I know loves it and uses it heavily, and its circulation has exploded over the past few years. Its a popular place, which is a great thing.

But its also a loud place.

The last few times I've been in the library, I've noticed that more and more people - kids and adults - seem unaware that other people are there as well. Loud talking, ringing cell phones, kids running through the aisles, kids playing in the lobby - behavior not usually associated with considerate library manners.

And I'm not the only person who's noticed this. I've heard this refrain repeatedly the last few months from citizens of all ages. People are confused and concerned by a lack of courtesy and lack of awareness of others in a public place.

We all need to be aware that our actions impact those around us. As parents, we need to instill in our children that they are not the center of universe, and need to be aware of their surroundings, and act in a manner that shows courtesy and respect.

And when you're ivisiting our great Manske Library, whisper.

Tim Scott


Blogger John Pfaffenberger said...

I blame the 60's. Worst decade this country has ever seen.

August 25, 2007 at 11:05 AM 

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