America, Land Of The Crude And Home Of The Rude This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   America, Land of the Crude and Home of the Rude

by Jamie B., Bowling Green, KY A man carrying an armload of books and papers walks up the steps to enter a large public building. As he reaches the doors, he realizes that he has neither a free hand nor finger. As he fumbles with his load, shifting it from side to side in hopes that he can grasp the door handle, dozens of people enter and exit the building. They all notice the man, and some even scoff at how rude he is to be blocking an entrance. Still, the young man struggles, making one desperate rush toward a quickly closing door. He doesn't make it. The door slams in his face and his load of books crashes to the ground. He sighs in agony, drops to his knees and scrambles to pick up his belongings. Bystanders point and giggle, not offering help. How rude, they think, that no one helps him, and yet they walk by to go to lunch or to a meeting.

People in America have become more rushed, and thus less friendly and helpful. Common courtesies of the past remain just that - part of the past. Each of us has the power to be kind and helpful, yet we watch as people struggle with doors, scramble to save their belongings and fumble with their packages. We need to take the initiative, and take action - be the one helpful person of the bunch.

We can help in simple ways. Open the door for someone with full arms, smile at people, say thank you and you're welcome, simply offer to help; do the kind deed that would make Mrs. Cleaver proud, stick to all those "kindergarten rules." The world would be a kinder place if we all practiced a little restraint when it comes to complaining or making rude comments. We could replace the negative with a positive - the willingness to compliment, the willingness to help and patience, lots and lots of patience.

One must try to take the initiative and never ever give up. Others may continue to be rude, to refuse to help, but one must not give up the chance to influence the world positively.

We as Americans cannot brush this off as a worldwide social change - that is a cop-out and a lie. Many countries and cultures manage to remain kind and courteous. One example is the Japanese versus the Americans. Both countries welcomed hosting the Olympic Games. Motivation for both was probably tourism and money; however, the actions and attitudes of the Japanese put Americans to shame. While the Japanese fans cheer for a job well done, the Americans cheer for an American job well done. Not that people shouldn't take pride in their own country doing well; however, a bit of sportsmanship and tact can go a long, long way.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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