Sometimes Americans Can Be So Selfish

16 May

There are a lot of indictments these days. Usually, they are thrown around a wee bit too easily in this rapid, Twitter-fed world we live in.  I point, for example to all the local leaders who are only now, after many months of dealing with this issue, jumping all over Efren Carillo to resign.  Why now? The court process is what you awaited, you say?  Well, that court process found him innocent.  So, if you wanted to respect the process, why can’t you respect the process’s outcome? Mostly because the outcome isn’t in line with their political opportunism.  Opportunism is another word selfish, is it not?

Selfishness, in my opinion, is what is harming America’s culture more than any one aspect of what may be wrong. I see it when I’m coaching youth sports. I see it in Rotary Clubs.  Heck, we see it every day on the crosswalk where driver after driver deem their time more important than the law and fail to yield to pedestrians.

I see it in my business dealings quite a lot. People seem to think win-win is old fashioned and useless.  More and more, I see pemedieval stocksople approach everything in their lives from a ‘zero sum’ point of view.  Winner takes all, the loser can suck it.  If you hadn’t noticed, that attitude creates quite a lot of dissonance and anger among us all.

Maybe one way we can all work to change the selfish attitude that so often prevails is to begin publicly shaming the selfish? Some modern day stocks, so to speak? Stocks had been used in the past to humiliate an offender.  The offender would be exposed to whatever treatment those who passed by could imagine. This could include tickling of the feet. As noted by the New York Times in an article dated November 13, 1887, “Gone, too, are the parish stocks, in which offenders against public morality formerly sat imprisoned, with their legs held fast beneath a heavy wooden yoke, while sundry small but fiendish boys improved the occasion by deliberately pulling off their shoes and tickling the soles of their defenseless feet.” 

Maybe by posting this story, we can put FourSquare CEO Dennis Crowley’s head and hands in a proverbial stock and give him more of the public shaming he so richly deserves.  Maybe next time, this entitled, rich, and clearly moronic man and his wife will think twice before they cheat. I doubt it. But who knows?



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