Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympical moment

Just so everyone knows, I got in an accident last week. Nothing bad. Fender bender. My insurance took care of it, though it was my fault. For now I'm driving a Chrysler Sebring '08, WAAAY above my pay grade.
When I dropped my Honda off at the repair shop Monday afternoon, I was making small talk with an elderly-ish secretary in the waiting room while I passed the time for Enterprise to pick me up. I casually asked her if she's watched any of the Olympics this past weekend. Me being a big sports fan, I understood in my head that most non-sports fans usually watch the Olympics because, well, they're the Olympics.
"No, not at all actually."
"Really?" to my surprise. 
"Growing up, my parents made us kids watch the Olympics whenever they were on. We had one TV with only a few channels, and it was either that or play outside."
"Oh. I see."

On a normal day, I would've passed right over that statement: "My parents made us kids watch the Olympics...." Seriously, I don't think I would ever hear that statement ever again if I tried. Maybe that was the problem. I had such an expectation that any average American would "show patriotism" and watch our teams hopefully succeed, that I didn't consider not watching to be an option. 
Does this same concept apply with our entire lives? Does "assuming" really make an @$$ out of you and me? Do we assume that homeless people are homeless because they don't work hard enough, or the rich yuppy down the street who we think has it together? Why do we assume? Is it human nature to assume, to make judgments, to cast doubt on people for how they act or what they look like first glance?
How about the millions of teenagers in this country who are assumed to be irresponsible and not have hopes and dreams and ideas?
How about giving our nation's leaders the benefit of the doubt that they might actually know more than we think we do?
I could continue, but I don't want you assuming anything.

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