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Time to start acting our age

I get around this community. I live here, work from my home, shop here, service my car here, buy my books here, try to make a community contribution here and am pleased and proud to call St. Albert my city.

I get around this community. I live here, work from my home, shop here, service my car here, buy my books here, try to make a community contribution here and am pleased and proud to call St. Albert my city. I pride myself on thanking those who help me and take great pains to ensure I compliment managers on their staff members when justified.

I like to shop small and consider many of the local retailers friends — not come-over-to-dinner friends but share-a-joke friends — and I like them. So what’s with all the attitude suddenly? Several store owners have told me almost overnight they are experiencing rude and abrasive customers. Did some virus run rampant through St. Albert infecting the citizenry? I can honestly say I rarely hear please or thank you from other patrons when I do my shopping.

Driving the Trail, it’s one endless stream of tailgating, speeding, cutting in and out of traffic without proper signalling. Many see the middle of city streets as good places to walk, skateboard or rollerblade. Sidewalks often are full of groups of individuals walking three or four abreast, bicycle riders peering from beneath helmets, racing to cut in front or cut off pedestrians.

Any line-up for any reason becomes the target of line jumpers who seem to care less about how long you’ve waited. Large supermarkets often have a line of empty vehicles parked in the emergency lane because the driver “just ran in for a few items.” This is supposedly an upscale community; one would think basic manners are a part of everyday learning and practice.

Who is giving the lessons in our society? The parents who argue with their children about whose ‘stash’ is being smoked? Yes that happens right here in St. Albert. Was that your kid stumbling, tripping over the curb and falling down in Braeside Saturday morning at about 6 a.m. or was that your kid screaming obscenities at 3 a.m. the night before?

Are these the groups and individuals who set the tones of behaviour we see in our daily lives? Sadly yes and I don’t get their point of view. Perhaps it’s the ‘me’ generation out of control, perhaps we’ve accepted these behaviours for so long they’re considered an entitlement.

Are you ‘mad as hell’ and not going to take it any more? What are you going to do? I guess you better start talking to your family, to your neighbours and you better get to know them as well. I have a thought — call Colleen Lamble at FCSS and maybe you can arrange a block party.

Thought and action, paying attention and not accepting everything you hear or read — it might just work. Of course, maybe it’s just me.

Andy Michaelson is a St. Albert writer and poet. Starting Friday, read Andy weekly at maybe.andymichaelson.com