Today’s Topic is Top 5 Pet Peeves.

I’m not really sure I’ve got a “top 5,” and this blog is supposed to be about JOY, not complaints.  But I chose to take this challenge, so I’ll rattle off a few from the top of my head.

Thoughtlessness has got to be my biggest pet peeve.  It seems so many people wander around in this world with blinders on, unaware of how their actions and lack of attention affect the people around them – sometimes in small ways, sometimes in large ways.

I was driving down a street the other day – not a major 4 lane thoroughfare, but one of the primary neighborhood roads that is pretty well-traveled at certain times of the day.  There are bike lanes on either side of the road, and two lanes for cars to drive in, and it’s a pretty curvy road in some places.  As I rounded a curve, I noticed a car stopped in the road (in the driving lane) in front of me – the driver had rolled down the passenger side window and was having a conversation with two people on bicycles (in the bike lane).  I stopped behind them, waited for an oncoming car to pass in the other direction, checked to make sure there were no other visible oncoming cars, and passed them.  It didn’t even seem to register to them that at the very least, they had been a nuisance, but it could have been a potentially dangerous situation on a curvy street.  Had that been me, I would probably have chosen to pull my car into the bike lane and gotten out to have my conversation.

I see this same kind of behavior in retail stores All The Time.  People blocking an entire aisle with their carts and/or bodies, whether they’re browsing or talking to someone else, oblivious to any other shoppers who might wish to pass by.  Or strolling along very s-l-o-w-l-y in the middle of the aisle, leaving no room for someone interested in walking any faster to go around them.  And they’re not teaching their children to be aware of the world around them, either.  I drove through a school zone yesterday afternoon, stopping twice for crossing guards helping children across the busy street.  Not a block past the second crossing guard, a man had walked across the street of his own accord, with three elementary school kids in tow.  Why didn’t they cross a block earlier with the assistance of the crossing guard, who was dressed in a bright orange rain coat and who held a stop sign in his hand?  I don’t get it…

If we would all just take a short amount of time to look around us, to notice exactly how our physical presence and our actions are affecting those around us, to just pay a little more attention and THINK and to actually exercise some basic courtesy, the world would be a much better place.  I have often received compliments on how very polite my children are, and I have to admit – it bugs me a little bit when I do.  I mean, I’m glad that they ARE being polite, and I’m glad that people notice, but (pardon me for yelling here) IT SHOULDN’T BE COMMENT-WORTHY!!!

Okay, enough complaining.  Thankfully, the world is NOT full of thoughtless people (although it sure seems that way whenever I go shopping – and the more crowded the store is, the more insulated and isolated people seem to be).  I see people acting thoughtfully and courteously all the time.  Just today, on Twitter, I saw a post that spread all over the place: apparently a man in Ontario posted a “Goodbye” letter to his family and friends on his blog, someone saw it, and posted something like “if anybody knows who this man is, please do something to help!”  One of the comments on the blog was from someone who apparently knew him, indicated that authorities had been contacted and he *thought* they’d gotten to him in time.  That’s the kind of thing that restores my faith in human nature!

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