Somebody once said to me, "If we want to get back to the basics, we're gonna need a revolution."
He was talking about an event that really pushed the button and gave us all a hard reset, something so catastrophic that we would be forced to work together regardless of differences, races and color. When I first heard it (which was some time ago), I thought to myself, "Self ... that's some dumb thinking right there!" After all, we're a pretty smart part of the operating population, sure we may screw it up for a little while, but before it gets out of hand, we'll take a step back and fix it.
A few years after that, I heard an entirely different individual tell me that we needed to collapse right back to the Stone Age, an Armageddon if you will. No gasoline, no electricity, no internet, nothing! An event that would have us rubbing sticks together to start a fire and hunting in packs to eat. Wow, that's pretty dramatic, I thought. We could never survive something like that; we've all become far too dependent on modern day conveniences to survive it. Maybe not all of us — those with some sort of military or survival training would probably figure it out. The outdoor enthusiast could also figure it out. Now I'm not trying to get all Lord of the Flies on you here, so here's my point: I'm beginning to agree with these people.
If we continue to walk a path where we really only care about us and not them, you versus me, then frankly it's gonna become hard-wired and there will be no turning back from it. I honestly believe that. If you look at our nation as a whole, we are basically made up of good people who in large part have forgotten what that means. Things are wrapped so tightly right now that we often are forced to deploy what I call the airline strategy: "In the case of loss of cabin pressure please secure the oxygen mask over your mouth before helping others." But we're forgetting the help others part.
It's all damaging and it becomes increasingly hard to check yourself on the simplest things. For instance, last week I saw someone pulling out of a parking spot. As they were doing this, I could see the driver check for a car but nothing else before pulling out quickly, only to have to slam on the brakes. They almost hit a pedestrian. It wasn't the pedestrian's fault, and it was an accident that could have turned awful very quickly, but it didn't. The driver rolled down the window, screamed an expletive, flipped off the pedestrian and then sped off nearly hitting that person again. This is the kind of behavior I'm talking about.
See, this same scenario played out with me behind the wheel the other day. I almost hit a pedestrian that was in my blind spot. I slammed on the brakes and they cleared themselves. I continued to pull out and then I parked a little ways down the street and waited for them so that I could apologize. After all, I really gave them a good startle, but I felt since I was driving I needed to square it with that person. We had a really nice conversation that lasted several minutes and then parted ways. It's not that difficult. Yes, the easier thing to do would have been to just drive away, but for me it would have chewed on me for the rest of the day.
I don't think we need a complete apocalypse to get back to the beginning where we really care about one another or at least don't try to win at every turn. But if you stop and think about, nothing brings us together like a tragedy, Irene, Brooks House Fire, 9/11. These were things that made us drop our guard and do right. If we could somehow remember how we felt when those things happened 365 days a year, I promise you nobody would ask, what the hell is up with that.
Fish is the opinionated morning jock on Classic Hits 92.7. He offers up his opinion at 7:50 a.m. every morning (Monday through Friday). Let's start the revolution. E-mail him at email@example.com.