A curious comparison between people in New York and people in Texas.
One of the things I encountered over and over again during my nearly fifteen years on Long Island, was inconsiderate behavior in the grocery store.
Time and time again, I would make my way down the aisle of one of my local grocery stores, and I would encounter someone taking up the middle of the aisle where I couldn’t pass. (Of course, that’s not the inconsiderate part.) When I got closer and closer, the person blocking access did nothing. Not even an acknowledgment of the situation. Just a callous lack of consideration.
Having been raised in Texas where one hardly ever encounters such a lack of consideration, it would always get my attention.
This summer, having moved back to Texas, I experienced behavior that brought this curious comparison into bold relief.
My son and I were in a fireworks store in Weatherford, Texas. It was July 3 and the place was crowded! In such circumstances, you might excuse people for being rude and exhibiting an “I’m getting mine” mentality. But no excuse was necessary. No matter where I went in that store, pushing my basket (which tells you right away I’m in a different place. A basket in the fireworks store?), people were kind, aware of my need to pass, and proactive about making room for me—and doing it in a way that showed it was pure courtesy and consideration for other people at the heart of the action.
This for me is what is called common courtesy. It is actually far from common in a lot of places. But where I grew up, it’s just what you do.
Categories: How to Live