Thursday, February 05, 2009

Take Responsibility for Yourself

OK. It's time to share a pet peeve with you. I eat in restaurants a lot. First off, I enjoy it. Secondly, I spend a lot of time alone, so getting out among people is sometimes very desirable for me.

It really bothers me when people bring their infants and children to restaurants, allow them to make a huge mess, and leave it for the restaurant staff to clean up. What is up with that?

If they were in their own home, or in a friend's home, they would never behave that way. If their kids made a mess, they would clean it up.

Why is it suddenly OK to allow children to throw food all over the floor - and just walk away from it?

This is also true of people who stay in hotels. I've noticed that people will often make incredible messes in hotel rooms, and leave it for the maids. "It's their job!" is the rationale.

I find all of this behavior offensive and troubling about what it conveys about our culture.

What happened to the idea that you should treat other people's things as you would your own? What has happened to respecting other people's property, and not messing it up, simply because you can.

OK, if your kid spills a glass of milk in a restaurant, there is no issue with asking for help to clean it up. That could happen to anyone, and that is part of the deal in a restaurant. That, however, is a far cry from letting your kids throw food and crayons all over the floor, grind it into the carpet and walking away, because you can.

Just because we CAN do something, doesn't mean we should do it.

People have a responsibility for themselves, and their children in public places. I was taught that when you make a mess, you clean it up. I think that rule is part of good sense and self discipline.

Whenever I see parents allowing children to behave that way (especially kids old enough to know better) I wonder what kind of adults they will grow up to be? What types of entitlements will they expect to have?

It's a simple thing that we can all do - clean up our own messes - that will go a long way to improving our world.

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