The choices we make every day say a lot about our view of others, the world, and our place in it. It’s overly simplistic, I know, but in many ways the old saying is true, “there are two kinds of people in the world.”
For instance, there are:
• People who ease off the pedal to let a fellow motorists merge with traffic and those who consider such politeness a weakness.
• Drivers who zip in and out of traffic to save a few seconds and those who realize calm and safe driving makes the trip much less stressful and only slightly longer.
• People who hold the door for others and those too unperceptive or self-absorbed to bother.
• Shoppers who faithfully take their cart back to the drop site and those who leave it to clutter the parking spaces.
• Those who park in no parking areas and fire lanes because “they’ll just be a minute” and those who think “no parking” means just that.
• Round-Up revelers who will park anywhere — next to fire hydrants, no parking signs, in driveways, loading zones, etc. — and those who don’t believe Round-Up magically dissolves the social contract of politeness, adherence to safe practices and considerate actions.
• People who are empathetic toward the poor, and those who think only lazy or dull people are poor.
• People who will give a buck or two to a panhandler, calm in the belief that a good deed is its own reward regardless of what the “gift” is used for, and those who sneer at the thought of sharing their good fortune with someone they are certain will just waste it on booze or drugs, is lazy and should get a job, owns a Mercedes parked a block away or just panhandles because it’s fun and easy.
• Those who will circle the parking lot relentlessly to get two spaces closer and those who figure a little walking or rain won’t hurt them.
• People who smile with understanding and tolerance at a parent combating a tired and unruly child at the store and those who scowl and mumble judgments.
• Those who think professing religious belief makes them better than people who don’t, and those who consider religious belief a potential avenue to fulfillment but hardly a ticket to be preachy or smug.
• Those who believe people have the right to make their own decisions regarding their body, and people eager to tell others what they can and can’t do.
• Those who smile at others, including people they don’t know, and those who think smiling should be reserved for when you win the lottery.
• People who like bagpipes and those who don’t.
• Those who consciously choose to enjoy the moment — the conversation, the food, the sunset, the music in the background, the walk – and those who choose instead to concentrate on a hand-held screen. (I appreciate my little phone/computer like everyone else. But come on. Look up, listen up, enjoy the real world and the people around you).
So, what kind of person are you?
Hal McCune is a longtime Pendleton resident.