Dick Hunt's Blog

January 2, 2010

‘Kleenex’

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 4:33 pm

‘Kleenex’
by Dick Hunt, Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
Today, as we were walking through the local Mall we chanced to see a woman unintentially drop her ‘Kleenex’ on the floor.  A man in the vicinity pointedly drew her attention to what she had done. She went back to where he pointed and picked it up, putting it in the adjacent garbage container.  She was not upset, just a little surprised that the man should have made an  issue of it.  I believe that he just thought she had dropped something that she wanted to keep.
As we came abreast of her, I paused to tell her of something similar that had happened to Ruth and I and our daughter Gail in 1972 and she was pleased that we did.  We were on Princes Street in Edinborough, Scotland waiting for the walk signal and Ruth had just unwittingly droppped a ‘Kleenex’ on the sidewalk. A tall, well dressed, dignified woman tapped Ruth on the shoulder and without a word, pointed to the ‘Kleenex’ and gave her a look which brooked no argument.  She obviously meant, “Do not mess up my City”. And Ruth willingly complied with the intent of her sign language.
I was brought up to keep my room tidy, my workbooks tidy, my clothes tidy and like the lady in Scotland, my parents would brook no argument.  We just did it and it seemed to us a good thing to do.  I have always been astonished at the  mess that greets my eyes as I visit some people in  their homes and encounter bedlam and disorder on all sides. Many marriages have been made unnecesarily difficult by men and boys and girls who would not pick up after themselves, thus putting undue pressure on the wife and mother of the household.  And sometimes mother is pretty messy too.
One of the unspoken rules of our childhood was, ‘if you open it, close it’.  Another was, ‘if you borrow it, return it soon’.  If you are about to open a door or gate and a woman or girl is about to pass through, hold the door or gate open.  Likewise, with Seniors. And one which is still a hang up for me is men and boys should not leave their hats on in the house.  At a Church where I was about to conduct a wedding some years ago, a young man, dressed all in his western finery had his large and fancy ‘Cowboy Hat’ on.  I leaned toward where he was sitting and quietly asked him to remove his hat.  Believe me, if looks could kill I would not be writing this.  But he did remove his hat, to the satisfaction  of many of the people in his vicinity.
Call me old fashioned and I am.  But I believe there is merit in being considerate of others.  I do not think it is my right to set standards for others, except for members of my own family as they were growing up. But I do believe that I have the obligation to practice what I preach and make clear that I have good reason to believe and act as I do.  For example, in the matter of keeping the communities in which we have lived tidy, Ruth and I have made every effort to pick up the garbage that people thoughtlessly discard as they go about their affairs. We have had the satisfaction of noticing that as time goes on, there is much less mess around the area we cover than there used to be. Many more people are picking up after themselves and probably others as well.  And I am happy to say that more and more young people seem to be more thoughtful of their elders and the handicapped. And that’s progress.

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