Pet Peeves & Writing

Pet peeves are the easiest writing subjects, because we have strong emotions around things that annoy us.

A big one for me is discourtesy. For example, looking for a parking place in a residential neighborhood, you notice all the driveways seem to be about two car lengths apart — and have two cars parked there. At last up ahead you see one car and think you’ve found a spot, only to draw near and realize the driver parked smack in the middle of what could have been two available spaces.

Or you’re waiting at an intersection to pull out into traffic. The wait is long. Finally only one car is  coming from your left. Wait, wait, wait–then it turns right into the street you’re waiting on. Had the driver used a turn signal, you could have pulled out and been half a mile down the road by now.

I generally think of others around me. If I’m standing on the sidewalk and people are approaching, I move over to give them room to pass. When stashing my shopping cart while browsing a department, I push it off to the side, out of the aisles.

The problem with being a courtesy freak is that it’s inherently bad form to express pique over another’s thoughtlessness. How courteous is that?

I received an email yesterday from Neale Donald Walsch who put this beautifully:

It is not necessary for you to report everyone’s mistakes to them,
much less to give them corrections.

I appreciated the reminder. I knew it. And I knew I needed to give it more consideration. So I looked it up again today and am writing about it.

His email went on to say:

You would not welcome someone else pointing out
your own misstep, or less-than-totally-efficient approach
to something. Why point it out to them? Do you see it as
your duty in life to make sure that all goes the way you
think it ‘should’?

Maybe it’s the teacher in me. I think by pointing out to a member of a minority that voting to discriminate against other minorities is not only illogical, but also wrong, that he or she will say “Ah, I see your point. I want inclusion and equal rights in society, so I should vote that others can have them, too.”

Now what’s wrong with expecting that?

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