Sunday, September 27, 2009

It takes a village

In the United States, the general populace has the opinion that people should just mind their own business.  In fact, we have an entire political party based on the idea.

On the surface, the logic seems pretty sound.  Live and let live.  I’ve often wondered what social problems result from this attitude later on.  For example, in other countries, it would not be terribly uncommon for someone to scold a stranger’s child.  In the US, this is essentially taboo.

Perhaps my musing on the topic was premature.  Aimee arrived home a few minutes late.  Her delay was caused by a very small boy standing next to a very busy road.  It would have been bad enough if he were just standing at the end of the drive, but he wasn’t.  He was throwing rocks at passing traffic.  The poor creature made mistake of throwing a pebble at Aimee as she passed.  Within seconds, she was speaking to his mother while he spied on the affair from around the corner of the house.  It didn’t sound like the experience ended well for him.

Today I had a more positive experience in the same vein.  A couple of young girls were in line in front of me at a convenience store, buying candy.  The clerk was patiently working through their options and helping them sort through their change.  This is a pretty common site for very small children, but these girls were about thirteen.  She didn’t lose patience or get short with them.  It was probably the best math lesson they have had in years.

No comments: