Dear South, please STOP!

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Dear South, please STOP!

Post by millipede »

Where do I start?
Most people reading this will not understand or will simply disagree. After all, I'm just an "old fashioned" person that's "behind the time."

But, that's exactly what today's rambling is about. Keeping up with the times. I've been in some interesting discussions with people on this idea, or part of it. The idea that times are changing and no matter what that looks like(for better or worse) always changing and "moving forwards" is better than standing still. That's something that I can never agree with. Anyone that takes the time to really study that thought should be able to disagree with it as well. If one of the things we're changing is that our society starts to accept that robbery is okay, is that better than standing still and not changing? I dare say, no.

Why the south? I moved to Arkansas back in the year 2000. Before that I attended JBU (A local Christian college) for the 1998/99 school year. I really liked the area and, everything was a bit more relaxed down here. I grew up in Massachusetts where there's just a lot of rush rush rush and the way people drive there... don't get me started.(actually, I'll get to that.)

At some point, a few years after moving here, we were visiting a family in town and as I was talking to this guy, someone he knew drove by and waved. I explained to him that was one of the things I liked about this area. On ALL sorts of streets(especially country roads) people wave and nod at EVERYONE. They don't do that in Massachusetts... People are more likely to be friendly down here. Approachable. Waving at strangers? This was weird but, I LOVED it. As I explained this to the man he said that years ago people did more than just wave or nod. People would actually just randomly drop in and say hi. So as much as I was loving this behavior, he was missing the way things used to be.

Several years back, the county I live in was voting to make it a wet county. For anyone not knowing what that means... when we moved here this was a "dry" county in that you could not purchase alcohol... at all. That was another thing I liked. But, people that like to drink and the people that believe the idea that alcohol sales would fix financial issues, well they got their way and suddenly there's alcohol EVERYWHERE. It's kind of saddening to me how much of it I see now. Some other things changed... some more "social."
I was explaining to a fellow believer that I felt the entire country was going downhill(has been for years) but that I considered this area to be going downhill a little slower than the rest. Sort of feels nice but at the same time, we're all still going downhill.

So, get with the times? What are the times and why do we actually look to them for authority and righteousness?
In online moral debates over "social" issues I see a LOT of ANGRY young people in Arkansas criticizing everyone that's older if they have "old-fashioned beliefs." I've seen people actually talk about Arkansas needing to get with the times. Because somehow, whatever society decides today is always right. Anything outside of what the masses proclaim must be wrong. This is a kind of thinking that, well at least MY parents tried to teach me not to adhere to. "Everyone's doing it..."
If all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you do it too?
Sadly, today, the answer is yes for most people. This is how society works and it troubles me greatly. SO many things change, how people believe and how people treat each other over such beliefs change not because people are suddenly awakened to new and actual truths... but simply because the masses follow. Whatever is popular today, people get in line. Bell bottoms are out... what's in today? Better get on board or, well there's something wrong with you. You're evil if you don't keep up with what the brilliant minds of today have determined.
I feel I could write a book on this subject. But, here we are headed in the same direction the rest of the country is... why? because change is inevitable? Because suddenly we know right from wrong and we didn't 20 years ago? It's all fads and trends and, well to be honest, the media and politicians shaping society the way they WANT it to be.
Some of it is good... but not all of it. Not all of it is actual progress. And, it should be resisted.
Just because the world around you is saying _______ doesn't mean it's right. Even if 99% of people say something, it doesn't make it right. We know this, deep down inside somewhere. Yet human nature still causes people to follow. :(

I don't want to ramble on about morals too long. One of the trends I am REALLY hating to see these days is bad driving and, well just anger EVERYWHERE. Have I got stories...

Years ago when we'd go back to visit Massachusetts, driving those highways was less than relaxing. (If any of my MA friends read this, don't judge me. I've seen you complain about driving the roads and dealing with people)
Driving on Route 3 in Massachusetts... speed limit was 55 MPH and if you were going 70 MPH, people were MAD at you for going too slow. Literally.
I could go on...

Down here in Arkansas, it wasn't that bad but it's certainly getting there. When I'm on certain streets(especially, anyway) with a 30mph limit and lots of houses and kids, etc... I go 30 mph and not more. And people, down here in the peaceful south, get FURIOUS with me. In some places I could be going up to 5 mph over the limit and people are still getting FURIOUS with me. I've seen people passing me, crossing double yellow lines when I was actually going 5 mph over the limit. What's the rush? 99% of the time I'm going to catch up to you at the next intersection. You're NOT actually saving any time by driving like that. EVERYONE is in a rush... that's not how it was when I moved here less than 20 years ago. Is this "progress" as well? So much anger out there. So few knowing how to use their blinkers... people cutting each other off. Saw a news story today about an increase in people running stop signs and red lights... not just the rolling stops that so many are guilty of... just blatantly running through intersections with little to not care. What is causing this?

And the road rage... It is humorous(both haha funny and, not) how people act in response to other drivers. That person is going too slow(the speed limit) so let's tail gate them, flip them off, wave our hands in the air... etc. why? What's the point? You're only hurting yourself when you let yourself get that upset. Stay in your lane, drive the speed limit, give people their space, and just drive like a kind person. If other people driving upset you THAT much, you're already wound up too tight. How you feel, how you act... that's not their fault or responsibility.

At walmart I saw an interesting incident between two women. Person A was driving across the lot, incorrectly crossing all the lanes... almost hit person B. Person B held down their horn for a few seconds. Person A didn't like that... honked back and then drove around to the other side of person B to yell at them. Person B explained(loudly) they had the right of way(and, they certainly did). Then... oh the language... back and forth screaming at each other. Over what? Person B drove off. Person A floored it and drove around a corner, blowing a stop sign to chase person B(again, why?)
I thought there was going to be a fight and me, being mr nosy/curious, wondered if I should go see if I could mediate or something. When I went around the building I found person A in a parking lot still fired up, almost bragging about the horrible stuff they had just said. Person B was not around it seemed so, fight was avoided thankfully.
This is here in Arkansas where things are supposed to be more laid back... I'm seeing more of this EVERYWHERE I go and I hate it. :(

I'm seeing more and more gangs... more drugs... I'm seeing stories on the news about drive by shootings... in Arkansas? human trafficking right here in NW Arkansas...
Our society is NOT improving. It's getting worse. People are more divided today than ANY time in my lifetime... more angry and hateful too... and now people feel empowered to be angry. They don't believe what we believe so we have the RIGHT to be hateful to them???????? When will this end? Where will it lead?
All in the name of getting away from those "old fashioned" values that some of us still admire???

In all honesty, the more we fight the old fashioned ways, the worse our society is becoming. It's not getting better out there.

Not that many years ago I could look at this corner of Arkansas and see a place less affected by the these issues... I cannot say that any more.
So dear south... STOP... please.

Go take a nice SLOW stroll down a country road... take some time to step out of the hustle and bustle. Keeping up with society isn't going to help you in the end. It just causes more anxiety, frustration, anger, bitterness, etc...
Let's get back to some of the "old fashioned" values where people actually respected each other. Where people were courteous. Where people waved at each other and had conversations(kind ones) with strangers regardless of how different they were. Where people weren't in such a rush that they found it okay to be rude, angry, and a bad driver.
As much of the world things we're headed in a good direction, as long as we're moving in the direction society dictates, I'd like to go back a bit...
There used to be more love and kindness. There used to be better drivers around here. I used to be able to go the speed limit on a back road without making everyone mad at me. I used to be able to drive down the road without seeing people getting so mad at each other.
Things are going downhill and it's a constant... things are getting worse and I want it to stop.

Been thinking about writing this note for years now. I don't know that it would have made a difference to anyone out there but perhaps I should have written it sooner.

"keep moving forward" is not always good as, sometimes, forward is the path that leads to destruction.
Oh so many thoughts.
Peace my friends... peace to all.

"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:"
- Job 12:7