The Rude are Inheriting the Earth

by Jon Fournier | September 6th, 2018

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The Rude are Inheriting the Earth

I’ve noticed lately that fewer and fewer peo­ple know how behave in a respect­ful man­ner while in pub­lic. I know I must not be the first per­son to make this obser­va­tion and I’m will­ing to bet that a great many oth­ers have made the same obser­va­tion in recent times.

There was an inci­dent this past week­end at the Wood­stock Fair, in Wood­stock Con­necti­cut that prompted the writ­ing of this arti­cle. I was sit­ting in the sec­ond row of seats that were set up for audi­ences in front of one of the stages. I was with a cou­ple hun­dred other peo­ple who were there to lis­ten to a par­tic­u­lar con­cert. Unfor­tu­nately very few of us were able to hear the music because there were so many groups in the audi­ence that insisted on car­ry­ing out loud con­ver­sa­tions dur­ing the entire hour and a half con­cert. The sound sys­tem was more than ade­quate and so was the vol­ume of the music. It was just that the groups were so loud and obnox­ious. There were five dif­fer­ent loud and obnox­ious groups in my imme­di­ate vicin­ity, includ­ing a cou­ple sit­ting in the front row that were the loud­est. I was there to lis­ten to music but instead was forced to lis­ten to a lengthy and detailed dis­cus­sion about every sin­gle painful den­tal pro­ce­dure one of the women experienced.

If this was just an iso­lated inci­dent I don’t believe it would be worth doing an arti­cle about it. That inci­dent how­ever is a symp­tom of prob­lems our soci­ety is fac­ing right now. Other symp­toms of these prob­lems include col­lege stu­dents shout­ing down every­one that has a dif­fer­ent view­point, mem­bers of the Trump Admin­is­tra­tion being harassed and bul­lied by mobs when they show up at restau­rants, and Antifa phys­i­cally attack­ing a group try­ing to hold a prayer meeting.

Moral­ity, dis­ci­pline, man­ners, and respect for oth­ers are con­cepts that are no longer taught in pub­lic schools. Feel­ing good about your­self and the belief that you are the most impor­tant per­son in the uni­verse have replaced those old fash­ion con­cepts. None of those ten or so loud indi­vid­u­als, just in my area, gave a sec­ond thought to the far greater num­ber of indi­vid­u­als who sat there for the sole pur­pose of lis­ten­ing to the concert.

Schools have stopped teach­ing us the impor­tant truth that every indi­vid­ual has a respon­si­bil­ity to exer­cise their right of free­dom of speech, along with every other right, in a man­ner that does not inter­fere with the rights of any­one else. Respon­si­bly coex­ist­ing with oth­ers while we are exer­cis­ing our rights was a fre­quent topic preached by those who wrote and rat­i­fied the Con­sti­tu­tion and Bill of Rights. Those loud indi­vid­u­als do have free­dom of speech, just like each and every other indi­vid­ual. Every indi­vid­ual in that audi­ence how­ever had the right to lis­ten to and enjoy the con­cert. Since the audi­ence was sit­ting in an area des­ig­nated for them, their right to lis­ten trumped the free speech rights of the loud indi­vid­u­als. The loud indi­vid­u­als had the rest of the fair grounds to talk. They could have sat in a dif­fer­ent area and con­versed while lis­ten­ing to the music and not pissed off a lot of people.

Every symp­tom I men­tioned ear­lier in this arti­cle could be solved if every indi­vid­ual exer­cised their rights in a man­ner that did not inter­fere with the rights of oth­ers. Col­leges used to be bas­tions of free­dom of speech for every­one, where every­one could have respect­ful back and forth dia­logues. If every­one respected the right of every­one else to dine where they choose would peo­ple be harassed into flee­ing restau­rants because of who their boss is? There is never an excuse for vio­lence against any­one. It should be repul­sive for every­one to hear that peo­ple are being taught that words can be vio­lence and that this sup­posed vio­lence must be stamped out by real violence.

The mes­sage that we must exer­cise our rights with respon­si­bil­ity is a cru­cial mes­sage that all schools should impart on their stu­dents. Since schools are not spread­ing that mes­sage I believe it is vital that we spread it ourselves.

I’ve noticed lately that fewer and fewer people know how behave in a respectful manner while in public.  I know I must not be the first person to make this observation and I’m willing to bet that a great many others have made the same observation in recent times.

There was an incident this past weekend at the Woodstock Fair, in Woodstock Connecticut that prompted the writing of this article.  I was sitting in the second row of seats that were set up for audiences in front of one of the stages.  I was with a couple hundred other people who were there to listen to a particular concert.  Unfortunately very few of us were able to hear the music because there were so many groups in the audience that insisted on carrying out loud conversations during the entire hour and a half concert.  The sound system was more than adequate and so was the volume of the music.  It was just that the groups were so loud and obnoxious.  There were five different loud and obnoxious groups in my immediate vicinity, including a couple sitting in the front row that were the loudest.  I was there to listen to music but instead was forced to listen to a lengthy and detailed discussion about every single painful dental procedure one of the women experienced.

If this was just an isolated incident I don’t believe it would be worth doing an article about it.  That incident however is a symptom of problems our society is facing right now.  Other symptoms of these problems include college students shouting down everyone that has a different viewpoint, members of the Trump Administration being harassed and bullied by mobs when they show up at restaurants, and Antifa physically attacking a group trying to hold a prayer meeting.

Morality, discipline, manners, and respect for others are concepts that are no longer taught in public schools.  Feeling good about yourself and the belief that you are the most important person in the universe have replaced those old fashion concepts.  None of those ten or so loud individuals, just in my area, gave a second thought to the far greater number of individuals who sat there for the sole purpose of listening to the concert.

Schools have stopped teaching us the important truth that every individual has a responsibility to exercise their right of freedom of speech, along with every other right, in a manner that does not interfere with the rights of anyone else.  Responsibly coexisting with others while we are exercising our rights was a frequent topic preached by those who wrote and ratified the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Those loud individuals do have freedom of speech, just like each and every other individual.  Every individual in that audience however had the right to listen to and enjoy the concert.  Since the audience was sitting in an area designated for them, their right to listen trumped the free speech rights of the loud individuals.  The loud individuals had the rest of the fair grounds to talk.  They could have sat in a different area and conversed while listening to the music and not pissed off a lot of people.

Every symptom I mentioned earlier in this article could be solved if every individual exercised their rights in a manner that did not interfere with the rights of others.  Colleges used to be bastions of freedom of speech for everyone, where everyone could have respectful back and forth dialogues.   If everyone respected the right of everyone else to dine where they choose would people be harassed into fleeing restaurants because of who their boss is?  There is never an excuse for violence against anyone.  It should be repulsive for everyone to hear that people are being taught that words can be violence and that this supposed violence must be stamped out by real violence.

The message that we must exercise our rights with responsibility is a crucial message that all schools should impart on their students.  Since schools are not spreading that message I believe it is vital that we spread it ourselves.

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