To the editor:

Holding our tongues is not working.

In the past, it was not uncommon, at times, to address issues with family members, co-workers or even strangers, if you felt it was necessary to help them maintain societal norms. I have been on the receiving end of a “correction” of my public etiquette, so as not to embarrass my acquaintances or tarnish my family’s hard-earned good reputation. 

We have all been either the perp or the cop throughout our lives; occasionally we are called upon to be the policemen in order to help maintain a standard of decency and dignity in our society which, up until recently, had been the norm.

I have spent so much time in, around, and behind the woodshed that I could build an exact replica from memory, but having said that, it seems that we as a society, have been growing more and more jaded and apathetic towards our cultural decay. Instead of addressing the myriad problems we encounter daily in our communities, there is now a tendency to ignore them hoping that things will improve eventually, because it can’t get any worse, right? Well, yes, actually it can get worse, much worse. What is this country going to be like for our children, grandchildren and future generations of Americans? Will this spiraling yellow brick road that we are currently traveling on turn to lead? Are we going to allow this to happen on our watch?

Just like most of you, I have been biting my tongue and forcing myself to walk around with virtual blinders on so not to cause any waves. It is difficult to be the grown up nowadays, especially when we are increasingly surrounded by other adults that want to remain childlike. The chances that you will be berated for trying to voice your opinions to another individual are very high, but it is worth the torrent of abuse that you may encounter, if it will assist with getting this rudderless ship back on course.

We all have our pet peeves and most of them “peeve” us because they are too far outside of the boundaries for a decent or polite society.

I will only list my top three:

1. People who wear their jammies in public. If you are over the age of 8, you should never be seen in public with your jam jams on. Exceptions are maybe darting out to the mailbox or keeping an eye on a pet as they explore the back yard, or if there is an emergency. Other than in extraordinary circumstances please put on some pants.

And is it too much to ask for a person to put on some decent clothes for church? You are worshiping God, not mingling at the mall.

2. People who are too lazy to push their shopping carts to a corral. If you are really this slothful, maybe you should stay home and have your items delivered to you, then carried into your house, then put away, then have the delivery guy wash your dirty dishes ...

3. People who do not wash their hands after relieving themselves in a “washroom.” It amazes me how many men I see that do this, even though virtually every bathroom in this country has a sink with hot and cold running water, and a soap dispenser. Do the adults in the room need to have a talk with the non-hand washers, the pajama wearers and the sloths out there about behaving more maturely? 

In closing, all I can say is that a little public shaming never killed anyone (I’m living proof).

Kevin Kell

Waterloo

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