We just finished remodeling our basement. So we've had a steady stream of workers here. For months. All of whom were professional, and very nice -- even to the dog. BUT I had two disturbing conversations that left me speechless. The following are excerpts from those actual conversations.
The freezer repairman just replaced a malfunctioning part, and handed me the old one, which amounted to an enormous piece of plastic, with some metal bits attached. "Can I get you to throw this away for me?" he asks.
"Sure." I say. "Is it recyclable?"
"No idea. I'm an American. Let the rest of the world recycle."
Excuse me? We're the leaders of the free world. Let everybody else take care of our bad habits? What ever happened to taking the higher road, setting an example. Not to mention saving the planet for our children. I don't get it. But the guy was dead serious. He went on to tell me about a buddy who owns a junkyard, which used to be "the lowest of the low". He said all of the sudden recycling became "all politically correct" and the guy retired a millionaire (from recycling the stuff people left irresponsibly in his junkyard, I'm assuming.) --Maybe our worker's in cahoots with this guy, and he discourages folks from recycling so his buddy gets all the goods and the cash! :)
. . . . .
I'm on the phone with the guy who's putting in our floor, and he says two guys are on their way down to install it. I said, "I have to take my son to school. Is it okay to leave for a few minutes while they're here?" He replied, "Oh, sure. They're good guys. They just don't look like it because they're Mexican."
What?!? Did he actually just imply that all Hispanics (sorry, it drives me crazy when people call any and all Latin Americans "Mexicans") look like crooks simply because of their race? Don't get me started.... At least he acknowledged that these two are good.
. . . . .
Help me out here, folks. I am not an extremist. But I believe rights come with responsibility. Part of being an American is using our freedom to make the best choices available to us, and treating all others with dignity and respect.
How do you (respectfully but firmly?) handle people whose views you find offensive?
How are you teaching your children to be good citizens of the world?