Thursday, September 15, 2005


Snooty people

I just got back from a quick shopping excursion to Best Buy and Target to get a few things for my computer and my office, and that combined with a discussion I just had with some friends working for the relief effort in Baton Rouge have me pretty depressed about the state of human-ness I guess. I've heard a number of times since the storm that times like these bring about the best and worst in human nature, and we've all heard stories about those who were trying to save people, and those who were taking advantage of the situation. I guess those stories will continue.

My friend's story is about a woman she encountered while shopping in Baton Rouge. I'm not sure how the conversation started, but the Baton Rouge woman told her that she can't wait for all of "these people" to leave because she is two hours late for her Pilates appointment.

Mine is similar. At the shopping center I visited, the National Guard is there distributing Ice, Water, and food to those who need it. Because of this, there are checkpoints at all of the entrances, and they are directing traffic. On my way out, I had seen a number of National Guard soldiers all over the shopping center, and I wondered if there was anything I could do to help them (as I walked out of target with my bag of cookies, maybe they'd like some? I don't know). I was stopped at the checkpoint, and I asked the guy. He said that they were well taken care of, but if I could just ask people to stop throwing water bottles at them. I asked why people would do that, and he replied that he figures they didn't like them being an inconvinence to their shopping trip.

The sum of these two encounters (which are hopefully the exception, not the rule) is just further confirming my feelings that we (as Americans especially) are becoming more and more selfish, and less and less compassionate about those who are truly suffering. Hopefully I'm wrong about that, and the scope of donations to charities to help us recover from this disaster would suggest as much, but I'm far from sure about it.

Less Me and more We, y'all.

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