The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

Golden Rule

[picture courtesy of avatel.wordpress.com]

I shall be stepping onto my soapbox during this post, and turning to a subject that I do not often write about, yet is in the forefront of my mind this morning.

Perhaps I should begin my conveying a little story about a recent occurrence.  I volunteer at a center for blind and low-vision folks.  It is a pleasure and an honor getting to know these amazing people.

Recently, one of these lovely people (who is also a friend) and I were standing at the bus stop after an afternoon at the center.  My friend told me I didn’t have to wait, but I insisted, as it gave us more time to chat!  My friend’s particular bus seemed to be running late, so it was quite a while before it arrived.  A large crowd had assembled, all wanting to get on this bus as well.  To my complete and utter disdain, many of these people motioned to push forward past my friend toward the bus doors.

Without thinking twice I loudly said, “Could you please wait until this person gets on the bus?” The next thing that happened was amazing.  My comment was met with looks of indignation, not by one person, but by many.

Soapbox

And now, my dissertation.  I felt anger, frustration, sadness, and confusion.  I am incredibly overwhelmed by this incident.  Why on earth would a collection of people, all sighted, feel in any way, shape, or form the entitlement to push past a person who cannot see and feel this is in some way acceptable.  For those of you dear souls that read my blog on a regular basis (and I am so grateful for that), perhaps you have come to know me in such a way that I adore kindness and abhor impertinence.  What I stand for is respect, equality, generosity, humanity, and gratitude.  To see my fellow human beings behave in such a way as they did on this occasion is, to me, inexcusable.  I understand people are busy, into their own little spheres of consciousness, and possibly egocentric dispositions.  Be that as it may, basic human decency supersedes all of that nonsense.

Clearly, there are those that are so off the mark of empathy that it will take a considerable amount of change for a shift to occur.  I am not implying that this is a broad-based circumstance in which the majority of individuals acts or finds themselves with an apathetic attitude toward others.  No, I merely wish to point out the observations I made, and in this case, the crude gestures of a number of individuals was too mind-boggling to be ignored.

As my dear husband so eloquently pointed out:  nothing is either all good or all bad.  Suffice it to say, I know he is correct.  However, when behavior such as that which I observed is so out of whack with common decency, I felt the necessity to write about it.

And so, my dear readers, I shall step off my little soapbox and wish you a wonderful, kind-filled, and thoughtful day!

thoughtfulness

[photo courtesy of pinterest.com]

 

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54 thoughts on “Cher’s Soapbox Oration!!

  1. I remember trying to make my way through London’s Underground during the rush hour – I have mobility challenges and use a walking stick, and it was terrifying. People barged past, knocked me around, and in the end I had to make my way to the side of the tunnel and my husband had to walk slightly to the side to protect me. People are in such a rush now that respect for others seems to go by the board. So yes, I understand your comments, Cher, and applaud you for having the courage to stand up for your friend. Congratulations!

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Awh, Mo, I am so incredibly sorry that happened to you. It is quite amazing, isn’t it? I appreciate your comments and your thoughtfulness, my dear! Thank YOU!! Big hugs, Cher xo

      Like

  2. Gator Woman says:

    When my husband and I were in Hawaii years ago on the Arizona Memorial Museum, we were nearly shoved into the ocean off of a gangplank by a herd of extremely rude persons who all appeared to be Japanese.
    We never forgot that, it was as if they could not wait to get inside to see what they had done that horrible day. Rudeness may occasionally seem to be rampant in the world, but then, so is kindness if you look for it.
    Try to forget them and think of all those good people doing good things who never make the news~
    Feels good to vent though~

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much for your comments! I am appalled at what happen to you, though. It is quite amazing when it happens, isn’t it? But yes, you are so correct in saying that kindness is also there if you look for it. I did a guest post for the kindness blog a few months ago, and it felt wonderful to share a story about kindness. It is rare for me to get on that soapbox, but I felt I needed to; you are correct, it feels good to vent! I’ll get back to my ‘usual’ posts from now on! *LOL* Big hugs, Cher xo

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      1. Gator Woman says:

        Been there, done that!
        We all have~

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  3. Don says:

    Well said Cher and I like it when you get on to your soapbox. Nothing like feeling strongly about something. You should go to Hyde Park in London where they have a soapbox, or a couple, where anybody can stand up and rant, speak or shout about anything. I agree with you, it’s rather sad when people are filled with that kind of insensitivity. Just a little question – did they all know she was blind?

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Awh Don, bless! Why, that would be a splendid idea! I had no knowledge of this, but if I should ever find myself in Hyde Park, I will most DEFINITELY go and see if I can muster up the courage to get up on a ‘literal’ soap box! *LOL* Why yes, my friend has a seeing-eye dog; there would be no doubt she was blind which makes it all the more upsetting. Thank you for your comments always, dear Don! Big hugs, Cher xo

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  4. Dear Cher… I so understand where you are coming from on this.. Thankfully here in the UK for the most part people respect cues.. those first in line get on the bus first.. and so on…
    However my Day job as a support worker. Its been my privileged during the past to support Adults with learning difficulties… These can range from Autism, Downs Syndrome or just adults with a mental age of say 5… Now it seems when normal folk are confronted with someone who looks a little abnormal or who may drool they go into a different mode all together..
    I have seen people get up and move seats.. I have heard nasty remarks about ‘Retards’.. I have seen people cross the street in order that they do not have to pass them…
    Yes I agree there are some who have no empathy at all…..

    What does my heart good though.. is that there are people like you Cher who stand up on their soap box and tell it like it is… Well done you.. And Thank you on behalf of all those who cannot speak up for themselves..

    Love Sue xoxoxox x

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much for your comments, dear Sue! I am so glad you have worked with these dear folks to help and assist them. I wish more people were like you; we need to remember that we’re all in this together, as it were. And bless you for your kind comments about my soap box shenanigans! I would do it a million times over just to help; I just wish others would be more caring like you are, Sue! Big hugs, Cher xo

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  5. Well said! I would imagine those self same people would have plenty to say where the situation reversed.

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much, my dear! Agreed! What on earth would THEY do if the rest of us acting is such an appalling manner? Cher xo

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  6. Give them heck, Cher!!! Not in the same league but since I’ve been hobbling about on a crutch the vast majority of people have been very considerate except for one time when a group of teens seemed hell bent on pushing past me. I stood my ground and wished I had tripped one or two of them with my crutch. Rude cretins…

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      You always make my day my dear! Oh really? That is absolutely disgusting, isn’t it? *LOL* Wait, I am laughing again….*LOL* Love it!!! Cher xo

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      1. If I have made a friend laugh or smile then my day has been made as well 🙂 Timmies for everyone!!!

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      2. seaangel4444 says:

        You DID! Wahoo for Timmies for eveyrone!!! *LOL* Thank YOU! Cher xo

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  7. I understand the anger that you had felt. My mother was blind. She had Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is a degenerative disease of the retina. When I was younger, I remember her being angry because people would ask me questions about her. She was standing right there. I had to tell these people that she was blind and not deaf. People are usually too busy worrying about themselves and are lacking empathy.

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much for your words, Susanne. There are people at the center where I volunteer that have the same disease as your mother had. I have seen the same experience and it is extremely frustrating. I do wonder if it is lack of understanding on a person’s part? Or, as you and I both agree, they are too busy worrying about their own lives and do not possess the empathy we would hope they would show to others. Thank you again, dear Susanne. Hugs, Cher xo

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  8. Good for you, dear Cher! That’s what soapboxes are for. They are a necessity, for sure. It is unfortunate that they are a necessity for certain circumstances, such as you and your friend experienced. The behavior of those people getting on the bus, and pushing aside your friend to do so, is abominable. I hope your indignation and shock at their behavior made some impression on them, so that they carry that message with them the next time they have the impulse to push people out of the way.

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much for your wonderful words, Carol! I really appreciate it! It was shocking for certain. Oh, I hope I did make an impression on them but I fear I did not. But always the optimist, I can certainly hope! Thank you as always, for your terrific comments! Big hugs, Cher xo

      Like

  9. Barb Ruchkall says:

    Cher. I can relate to your experience. My Mom had low vision. She used a walker, not so much for mobility problems, but more because she couldn’t see well and felt more secure with something in front of her. A few years ago, she and I were walking through a crowded restaurant in Philly. The tables were quite close together and people were coming at her from all directions, cutting ahead of her, etc. I was frantically trying to navigate her through this! Like you, I asked people to let her through. I explained that she had trouble seeing. Most people ignored me. Some were condescending and patronizing. Not very many people seemed to think she deserved any kind of consideration. Unfortunately, people tend to regard elderly disabled people with disdain. The unspoken attitude seems to be, “I need to get through! They are inconveniencing me! They shouldn’t be here. They should stay at home”.

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hi Barb!! Thank you so much for sharing that story about your dear mom, bless her. That is absolutely amazing what happened to her. I just don’t get it, Barb, I truly don’t. I quite agree; they should stay at home where they can bang into anything they want! 🙂 Big hugs, Cher xo

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  10. georgeforfun says:

    Reblogged this on georgeforfun and commented:
    Sadly, as I travel across the US, what you write is not an exception anymore, sadly it has become the norm. If someone can’t keep up or gets in the way of the “hurried masses” they get pushed or thrown to the side. If lucky they aren’t injured along the way. I feel your frustration and on more than one occurrence, my children weren’t sure Dad could hold back. I hate abuse in any form.

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Yes, I cannot believe it myself, George. It is quite amazing, isn’t it? What happened to a society that puts more emphasis on me, me, me than our fellow human beings. Me too, George. I feel the same way as you do. Hugs, cher xo

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      1. georgeforfun says:

        I remember it changing back in the 80s & 90s. Roots all way back to Woodstock/Vietnam. NO one wants to be told what to do by anyone else. Sadly we have more freedom than most in world and we act least civilized in some places((((((((((((((((
        I know longer expect respect when I’m visiting big cities, but Sons say I stare through people, so they avoid the Crazy Old Bearded Dude. Never know what’s in that old camouflage jacket of many deep pockets inside and out. Fear works for me.
        Once I had to drive instead of flying to Chicago for work. I had a bumper sticker made for windshields.
        “Believe in the hereafter? Break into this car and find out!”

        Like

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Oh George, you literally had me laughing out loud with your bumper sticker comment! That is awesome!!! You said it perfectly, George. This is one of the most blessed countries on the planet, and why the hell do people act in the opposite direction in some places. The ‘sense of entitlement’, and ‘don’t tell me what to do’ is so incredibly prevalent in this country, that to be perfectly frank, I’ve had a bit of a hard time with it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it here; however, that is one of the things that perplexes me. I think it is because I grew up with a sense of, “what can we do to help others” mentality, so it’s been a bit of a struggle on my part, if you know what I mean.

        Cher xo

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      3. georgeforfun says:

        I grew up around the world, mostly in Southern US, and was spoiled by Southern hospitality and manners. I returned with a big family, internationally diverse, bios and adopted, I almost turned around to return to Europe. Maybe not as many freedoms or privileges, but at least I didn’t worry about being more than an arm’s length from a weapon or weapons for defense. My Kids have adapted, but have learned lessons I wish they’d never had to know. If their Grandmother hadn’t been sick, we would not have stayed so long. That I know. I struggled keeping my thoughts to myself until I lost my voice and thyroid to Cancer. Now I’m safer and quieter, more time to consider what I feel or think before expressing it in a non voiced manner. But always less than arm’s length from my ‘toys” Nowadays, old bearded man draws less attention than “high and tight Marine’ hair cut.))))

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      4. seaangel4444 says:

        Bless you all-round, dear George! What you have went through…………….. I have much admiration and respect for YOU, George. I can feel it and bless you for wanting to do the right thing always. 🙂 🙂 🙂 *LOL* Ah well, you said you have that STARE thing going on; meethinks that would be enough, Marine cut or no Marine cut! 😉 xo

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      5. georgeforfun says:

        So far it has saved a few Others from making unrecoverable mistakes. I’m pretty peaceful, but won’t stand or sit by and watch elderly or children or disabled ones be taken advantage of or abused. Just my nature and inbred birth defect, I suppose. My Dad taught me never mess with Crazies or Cowards, both will hurt you without knowing it. Maybe other Dads taught the same lesson to their Sons))))))))))))))))))))) I resemble Crazy more than Coward.

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      6. seaangel4444 says:

        George, this is what we need: more people like YOU! I absolutely cannot tolerate, stand, or deal with people that do anything to take advantage of anyone as well. I am so glad your teaching your sons correctly. You know what, George? I am floored at how many people on the trains do not give up their seat for an elder. I will get up everytime and give up my seat. Then, in my little way, I give any guy around us a STARE; okay, not a “George” stare, because I am not very intimidating, but at least it makes me feel better!!!! *Biggest gin* Cher xo

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      7. georgeforfun says:

        Glad I look homeless crazy and mean sometimes. People leave me alone. In big cities, Fear is better than respect I guess. :-(:-(:-(

        Like

      8. seaangel4444 says:

        Hi George! *LOL* Well it is awesome then that (as you described yourself) you don’t get bothered by the folks in our big ‘ol cities! However, since I look like, well, I don’t know, but I don’t have the same ‘fear factor’ as you!! *biggest grin* 🙂 🙂 🙂 Cher xo

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  11. seeker says:

    I can understand how you reacted. I sometimes voice it out, too. Glad you said something, if you didn’t, it might be construct as acceptable. As for the other people, I think they are more shock to hear and took them by surprise. Their reaction is not a reflection of you. Good on you, mon Cherie.

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    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you, dear seeker. I am glad you re-framed it for me, as it has been bothering me ever since. I think you are correct; perhaps it was a surprise (and a defense mechanism as well). Awh, merci, mon seeker! 🙂 xo

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      1. seeker says:

        Most welcome. 😛

        Like

  12. Meanderer says:

    It is upsetting when something like that happens and I’m sorry to hear what happened to you and your friend that day. In England people used to stand in line and wait their turn to – for example – get on the bus, but this happens less these days. As others have said in these comments, there are acts of kindness but we tend to notice the unkind acts more. When I have to travel on the London Underground, sometimes people will push to the front to get on the train quickly, but often a kindly person or two will stand back in order to allow me on with my bulging back-pack and other bits of baggage. I am so grateful to those people who make my trip much nicer. I guess all we can do is make things better for others ourselves – and to catch ourselves when we are bound up in our thoughts. If we all made the effort – well ……. 🙂

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much for your comments! I think it use to be the norm for forming a queue, and sadly it now seems to be the opposite. But yes, I quite agree with you that when we do find those kinds folks on our travels, it is so appreciated, isn’t it? Big hugs, Cher xo

      Like

  13. D. Parker says:

    Exellent Cher! Reblogged on http://yadadarcyyada.com That’s 2 today.

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      You have no idea how happy this makes me! I’m smiling and waving at you! Thank YOU, Donna!!!!! Big hugs, Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. D. Parker says:

        I’m waving back. I’m glad it could make you happy. I only leave reblogs on a couple of days because I also use my blog to promote freelance writing, so it’s better to have only my content on it, but I do enjoy reblogging so I keep doing it. I also tweeted it, etc. 🙂

        Like

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        That’s totally cool! Thank you again! That is fantastic, Donna! Happy Dance!! Big hugs o’ gratitude, Cher xo

        Like

      3. D. Parker says:

        Big hugs back. 🙂

        Like

  14. laura kilty says:

    I am sure you got people thinking and this post will have set off a chain reaction of thoughts, actions and posts by others on the theme of kindness and acting in a thoughtful way. Perhaps this ‘crack’ it caused in you, was a way for you to receive the light of the positive feedback and is also a way for your bright light to flood outwards through this post and so touching other people, affecting change. To me, you just embodied that beautiful quote you introduced me to, through posting about this incident!! “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”.x

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hi dear Laura, What a wonderful, wonderful way you have described it. Bless you so much for this! Your words resonate with me, and I am truly grateful! Thank YOU!!!! Let’s forget our perfect offering indeed! I am so happy to receive the incredible feedback from amazing people like YOU!! Big hugs, Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I enjoyed this post. I think part of the problem is that people live in their own busy, “important” little world’s without realizing what is going on around them. This has left people selfish and less empathetic. I liken this to people speeding around you on the road even though you are driving at the speed limit. Because they have something “important” to do, they can break the law without regard to the safety of those around them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much for your awesome comments, Jennifer! I agree with everything you said. It’s almost as if people have to ‘relearn’ common manners, don’t you think? And yes, I always get a ‘laugh’ out of people who speed past you just to get to the red light about 5 seconds before you do! *LOL* Thanks again for your comments! Cher xo

      Like

  16. annetbell says:

    Oh the world would be such a better place for all of us, if this simple rule was followed!

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      I quite agree, Anne! I think it would be a world that included the largest paradigm shift ever known!! Cher xo

      Like

      1. seaangel4444 says:

        🙂 🙂 🙂 Cher xo

        Like

  17. One simple act of kindness changes the world. So does its opposite. I’m with you. Paulette ❤

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you, Paulette! I quite agree. It is for this reason we all must remember to practice for former, not the latter! Blessings my dear, Cher xo

      Like

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