Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Gadabout has noticed a void in citizenship these days, and he is the first to admit that he has great failings in this area of his life. Citizenship is a value system, and with all value systems it is tested and challenged everyday of our lives. I am not going to get “deep” on this subject, so let’s take a surface approach and have some fun.

People posture for advantages over others on a daily basis. When forced to merge on a roadway when a lane is blocked due to construction or a traffic accident, many drivers will deny merging opportunities. The proper method of citizenship in these occurrences is to use the “zipper” method to account for lane closures. Have you ever intentionally blocked someone’s merge attempts? Yep, I have, and I am ashamed for it. I am no saint, and never will be one, but I try to learn from my mistakes.

How about long lines at, let’s say, the grocery store? A cashier opens up a new lane and person at the END of the line rushes up and cuts off those in front—not nice! Using the Express Lane when you are packing 25 items is a bust in the face of good citizenship also. Yes, I have done this too.

So, you need 2 parking spaces for your shiny new Lexus? Thank you very much! No, I have never done this.

Americans are, in essence, a very good lot. Often times, though, we have lapses in memory and judgment on how to live with one another and maintain harmony, good order and discipline and courtesy. Let’s try a little harder folks, and oh, I almost forgot, flipping me the “Bird” isn’t all that nice! Yes, I have flipped people off too. Gadabout has much room for improvement.


Anonymous said...

An armed society is a polite society...

Gadabout Jack said...

Valid point.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gadabout Jack,

The points you bring up are valid if a bit shallow. You did say you weren't diving in too deep though. It would keep us wrapped up in philosophical thought all day. But the basic tenants of life, including good citizenship must apply across the board and can't be ignored.

The reality of life is it's a pick and choose society for many on governing their behavior, letting anger rule and ignoring "good citizenship" all together.

Packing a gun is the answer? I don't even own one. Haven't we all heard of "road rage" and deaths? Really we're all "sitting ducks" to some degree since you like to hunt.

Yes, we fail in our efforts. Is that what we've become a society of grudge holding infantile adults? I think so. Being a good citizen includes more then the basics. Our society today is poor reflection of those principles in practice. What you wrote about is exactly what most people are.

So you win the game of cutting someone off, you flip someone off or you're first in line. So what? You feel good at that moment. What does that say about our society and us as human beings?

Being less selfish, holding the door open for that little old lady, not cutting someone off, standing last in line and practicing being last more then first is a start. That's the probelm most want to be first.

I just hope some people reading practice the principles of good citizenship. Without them, who knows we may be be shot by an armed, pistol packing driving Granny on the road one day whose had enough too!

Have to disagree with you one on this subject. I think most people lack values and don't practice the above. And that's the real truth.

Liv Olsen

Slag said...

"A soft answer turneth away wrath; But a grievous word stirreth up anger." Proverbs 15:1
I think it's in our enlightened self interest to be good citizens. That said, I've been "that guy" too Gadabout - usually at the end of a long day...

Gadabout Jack said...

Gadaobut has been called "shallow" quite a bit of late, but hey, I publicly state that my view of the world is based on "shallow and biased opinions accumulated over ..."

Liv makes many good points and I applaud her interest in this subject for highlighting the social aspects of our collective behaviors.

This is what "As Gadabout Jack" is all about: honest and open discussion about life and living. I am proud of all of you!


Alusna said...

...forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us....seems like that sorta sums it all up.