Monday. July 6, 2015.
Traveling home this afternoon from our visit with Old Mother and Old Father Blonde, we took a break for lunch at a rest stop in Jersey and joined a throng of Americans on vacation parade, all dressed for summer and comfortable travel. Not a pretty sight.
I decided to do my bit to beautify America by taking to Twitter, because the power of social media solves all things.
Note to aging American men, I typed, It's been at least 15 yrs since the t-shirt and gym shorts looked good on you and it didn't look that good back then.
I was mostly justly ignored.
But one of my followers took issue.
Dude, he typed in admonishment, Other humans do not exist to make your world look nice.
I just love being called dude.
I almost typed back, Note to aging American men. Calling other guys dude is the verbal equivalent of t-shirts and gym shorts.
And ball caps worn backwards.
I was in a mood.
You couldn't tell?
But I was nice. All I typed back was Since when? and left it at that. I had to. It was time to get back on the road.
But I thought about it the rest of the way and have been thinking about it since we got in. And know what I've decided
That's exactly what other people exist for.
It's what I exist for for them. It's what we're here for to do for each other. Make our worlds look nice.
And sound nice and feel nice.
Of course I mean something more serious and life-improving and life-affirming than not calling attention to our knobby knees and pot bellies.
The ambulatory scenery at turnpike rest stops might look nicer if thirty-, forty-, and fifty-something men didn't dress like sixteen year old boys on their way to an outdoor rock concert. But then all manner and levels of mischief, mayhem, and outright evil has been perpetrated by men who dressed like grownups.
Nixon and his henchmen wore nice suits.
I mean we're here to make life less miserable for each other in whatever ways large and small we can manage. We're here to make the place nicer.
We should be aware and careful of our effect on others. To a degree---the very least degree---this means taking care of our appearance and minding our manners. It means doing our best not to be offensive. It means going out of our way not to cause offense, even accidentally. It means taking others---strangers---into consideration. Considering their feelings. Remembering that they have feelings. It means remembering what Dickens says Scrooge had forgotten and needed to be reminded of, that we’re all fellow passengers to the grave and not separate races of creatures bound on other journeys.
It means being considerate. Being polite. Being...nice.
There is no heaven. The best we can hope for is little moments of heaven on earth and for most people too much of the time moments here are one hell after another.
We're here to lessen that hell.
It's far from enough to be " nice" but being nice is the least we can do and often that's all we can do.