What has happened to common courtesy?

It seems more and more that, when I’m entering a freeway on an on-ramp with a car in front of me, that car is going under 40 MPH until getting established in the freeway lane, then they speed up.  On my way to work this morning, the car in front of me was barely going 35 MPH on the on-ramp.  Once we got into the far right freeway lane, this car accelerated to over 70 MPH where the speed limit was 65 MPH.  This is not the only time I’ve seen this driving behavior.  More often than not, drivers are driving at surface street speeds on the on-ramp until actually in the freeway lane before accelerating to freeway speed.  It appears to me that most people don’t know that you should be accelerating on the on-ramp and should be at or near freeway speed before you actually get into the freeway lane.

This behavior of being oblivious to others nearby is not confined to motor vehicle operation.  This week, we had our county fair with a number of concerts.  This evening, I went to see one of my favorite bands as they were performing in a free show at the fair.  I’m not big on crowds, so when I arrived at the venue, I picked a seat on the center isle near the back of the arena.  Looking down the center isle gave me a clear view of most of the stage with all the seats filled in front of me.

I am so thankful that I did not pick one of the seats in the very front.  As soon as the concert began, a flood of people rushed up to the stage, basically blocking the view of anyone sitting in any of the front 3 rows.  This resulted in the people in those front rows having to stand in order to see the band.  This, in turn, blocked the view of several more rows behind them.

Now, this concert, being a free concert, was only about an hour in length.  You would think that the average adult would be able to stay in one place for an hour.  Apparently, this is not the case.  I could not believe the number of people, in front of me, in close proximity, who decided after 15 minutes that they needed food or drink or a bathroom break.  Many of these people only saw half of the concert.

Then there were the people, who stopped in the center isle to either watch the concert or visit with friends while standing in the center of the isle blocking the view of anyone seated behind them.  This was going on right in the middle of the band playing.  I would never consider standing in a position that blocked someone behind me.  I must be missing something because that is not how  so many people behave.  Thankfully, this was a free concert.  I would have been more unhappy if I had paid for tickets.

It certainly seems like this type of behavior is escalating.  It’s not a good sign for our society.

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