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Debbie Walker

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by Debbie Walker   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, November 07, 2009
Posted: Saturday, November 07, 2009

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Generalizing doesn't show the whole picture




Did you ever think about how much we “generalize” these days? Maybe it has always been done; I just didn’t notice it as much. (I have more time now!) I looked it up in the dictionary: “to emphasize the general character rather than specific details”.


We hear things about how rude people are these days. Not everyone is. My Mom just told me a story the other day about trying to get up to the right side of the gas tank at her local station right there in Newport. It was busy; people were in a hurry however this one man recognized what she was trying to do, so he helped her by giving her a few minutes to get turned around. She was very thankful to him and that is part of the reason for this topic, to thank him if he happens to read this.


Ever hear about how terrible people are in the cities? Last year when my brother died I drove from Florida to downtown Boston and tried to find the hospital he was in. Believe me I was not afraid to ask people for directions. I can’t tell you how many apologized to me because they use public transportation and have no idea how to drive anywhere but they all were wonderful to what must have appeared to them as just another wild woman in the city. I guarantee you; I looked like a nut case by then!!!! And I am sure there are a couple who still remember me!  I finally found a man, in his car, who led me to the end of the street where the hospital was, because of his help I made it to the hospital in time to spend 10 minutes with my brother. EVERY PERSON I asked talked to me and tried to help!!!


I hear that ALL the kids today are disrespectful. Not so. I have been going to my grandsons swim meets and been impressed with how polite and considerate these kids are. I wear a brace on my leg and walk with a cane and one in the group will see me coming and tell their buddies to move and let me thru, I have even had them tell me to be careful walking on that wet floor.


I would like to say one thing here. Kids wear some pretty funky clothes, pants down over their butts, piercings all over the place, etc etc. One thing I have found is if I have eye contact with them and I say “HI, how are you” or “thank you”, they smile at me and some even answer with “you’re welcome”.  I am afraid kids today are accustomed to people acting like they are afraid of them or are just in general looking at them with a look of disapproval. They and we have prejudged each other in many cases I am sure. Yes, I know there are some humdingers out there but not all, again, generalization.


Yes, there are some rude drivers on the road, and there are some rude people in the stores, I know, I meet them too. However I meet more who are kind, considerate, polite, etc. The problem is the bad experiences stay in our minds and the good ones get forgotten way too soon.


We have an incredible amount of stress in our lives today, that  stress hides anger in us (and sometimes doesn’t hide at all), but for most it is just below the surface and ready to pop at a moments notice. No I don’t live in La-La Land down here in Florida, it’s the same here as every where and sometimes the heat of the day is enough to make people “cranky”. But I believe because of the stress and problems we are generally staying in the mode of only acknowledging the negative situations and ignoring the positive. Don’t look for the rest of the world to change; you start it by starting some of the positive. Try one thing first; if you have eye contact you smile and say HI, it’ll be worth it.


I am just curious if maybe we can “emphasize the specific detail rather than the general character” and maybe try for the more positive. 


PS A young man came to my house one day wearing the pants down over his butt and I told him if he was going to make me look at his underwear than I was going to make him look at mine. I told him I would unbutton my shirt and let him spend the afternoon looking at my grannie bra. He pulled those pants up some fast and I’ve never had to remind him!!!!!



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