I have been reading the “Peeved” column of my local paper (the place where people who don’t have access to Facebook, Twitter, or the internet write in to complain and troll) and came across a few posts where individuals are complaining about — and others are defending — walking/running on the roads instead of the sidewalk when a sidewalk is clearly available.
I learned early in life not to play in the road, because — cars big, me little — and in a fight the cars always win, many times with a large squishy sound, kinda like running over a garbage bag full of vegetable soup. But it seems others have come to the conclusion that the road is safer because the sidewalk is dangerous. One person, who claimed to have been “running nearly 40 years” (I assume not continuously), claimed the sidewalks are uneven due to tree roots and the road is safer. Another told a story of how they tripped on an uneven sidewalk and almost fell, so now they jog on the road because it’s safer.
In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.”
If you think being on the road with moving cars driven by people who don’t know how to drive (which is everyone) is safer than a location not in the car’s path — well, there’s not much I can do to help you.
It’s people like this who make rash decisions based on a specific incident by placing the blame on something other then themselves (in this case, the sidewalk) and they cannot understand how it could possibly be their fault or how they could change their behavior to prevent the incident.
If they were unable to pay attention to their surroundings and watch where they were going on the sidewalk, I don’t have much confidence they can do that on the road either. It could be worse if they are the type to listen to music through headphones in both ears while jogging — that way they can’t hear anything else, like a car, or car horn, or someone screaming, or a mugger coming up behind them to attack.
But at least they feel safe.
This way of thinking is the same as the people who will never change their minds because they “believe” something to be true. I’m not just talking politics or religion, it could be Santa Claus, the moon landing was fake, John Edwards can talk to the dead, Bill Gates is going to give me money if I share his picture, Mister Rogers was a marine who killed hundreds, or any urban legend. Facts, evidence, or tangible proof will never matter because these people do not want to be wrong about their beliefs.
Side note: Just because it’s on the internet, doesn’t make it true.
People also make these rash decisions because they are impatient — which means they are also rude and obnoxious. These are the type of people who will tweet their complaints the instant an incident happens to ensure everyone understands they are the ones being wronged by someone else. They take no responsibility themselves.
I was reading article on Mashable written by a flight attendant. People are rude to her as soon as they get on the plane. If the plane’s late, it’s her fault. If the alcohol prices are too high, they tweet a complaint addressed to her specifically (because, you know, she controls the prices). People also argue again and again about the airline policies and rules as if she has the power to change them, right there, right now. Impatient people — blaming someone else — because they can.
This impatience extends to the American justice system. The legal system is slow, but the court of public opinion, influenced by the media, can deliver immediate results by shunning the offenders (regardless if the allegations are true or false, that doesn’t matter). This is also why we support people such as Batman and Dexter — they are quick and only hurt bad people, so it’s ok.
Another form of impatience is the labeling of people. People need to categorize people so that their preconceived ideals of that “type” of person can take over and tell them everything they need to know about that person instead of spending time learning about the actual individual. It’s quick and no patience is required.
Everything needs to be immediate. Instant gratification. Blame someone else. 99 Notifications and a bitch ain’t one.
People don’t seem to be in life for the long game. They are short sighted, impatient, never thinking deeply about anything, and it’s never their fault.
This is what makes them feel safe.
It makes me want to do a hard reset on the universe.