Language, Civility and Upbringing

I was standing in a fast food restaurant at lunch the other day waiting for my to-go order when in walked two teenage girls with their iPods.  As soon as they got to where I was standing, one of them turned to me and said quite boldly, “Can I borrow a dollar?”

I laughed and enquired when and how she planned to pay me back, which I meant seriously since “borrow” means that the money should be returned someday.  She shrugged, and I forked over a dollar but had second thoughts immediately.  There was, after all, no “please” and no “thanks.”

Now, what lessons can one draw from this?

For starters, where does one get the gall to ask a perfect stranger for money?  To continue, how does this reflect on the young woman’s upbringing and values?  Finally, is this what our country has come to?

I have no problem “giving” people money in legitimate situations, but this was just a case of someone’s taking advantage of another person for personal and selfish reasons (she’d probably ditched out of high school class and wanted lunch).

I guess what I’m getting at is that there is a clear connection between what people say and what people do and believe.

Oh, well.  Welcome to 2007 and the decline and fall of the West, but maybe I’m being too judgmental.  The decline may take another decade or so….

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