America on a New Route of Rude?:: Rude, Crude, and Inhumane!?

Hello Chicago and hello America!

What is going on with our attitudes? Sure it is admitted that no human being is perfect in any way – be it behaviorally, physically, morally or spiritually. But we sure need to at least try to improve our behaviors towards others and in the presence of others.

Now my view of behavior and the science of it is that our reactions towards others begin with how we view ourselves and our environment and how environmental factors of all kinds have affected us.

My goodness, what a spit of rude behavior I have seen and experienced lately! We tend to misjudge and sadly prejudge others before we know the facts or the circumstances of situations we see or hear about. The so – called “news” does not help our tendencies to be so fast and thus to act before we think – such as been a shortcoming of our “progressive” technological world. But it is still rude to do many things and to act before thinking. Acting means any kind outward manifestation of thought here – speaking, shouting, gesturing, traveling, etc.

Just some of the examples I have seen of how rude Americans can be include:

Reprimanding someone when the reprimander did not know the rest of the situation (happened in a grocery store and the nasty reprimanding person was way out of line and did not know the rest of the circumstances);
Interrupting someone when they are serving another customer;
Cutting another driver off on Interstate 88;
Wearing caps at the dining table (I have seen at least three guys – I will not call them gentlemen – do this in the past week);

Now there are situations I have not experience but have heard of that indicate just how rude and crude Americans are becoming, such as:

Abuse of others for any reason;
Teasing and making ethnic or other manner of jokes (some people do not consider funny what others consider as funny or “just having fun”);
Smoking within the entrance of a store or apartment complex where non-smokers have to walk;
Mistreatment of animals;
Stepping on the feet of others and not saying excuse me or I am sorry;
Pushing others into a subway car and shoving other passengers out of their way (arrogance, prideful and shameful behavior that has no consideration for the others on board);
Littering (even when a garbage can is within a few feet);
Not cleaning up after pets;
Stealing money from one’s company;
Interrupting in a senate or parliamentary procedure situation, and so many more!

I admit no one is immune to some eruptions of unusual or bad behavior but I am attempting to improve, and pledge so to do. If we all do that, pledge to improve our behavior towards others by a small percentage or by giving a few more seconds’ thought to a situation before we impose any kind of action on another person or on the situation, we will be better people and have a nicer nation.

Divi Logan. Chicago. 2015.

Veterans Need the Best We Can Offer: Chicago HAVE For All Military Personnel

Chicago Needs to HAVE Veterans In Our Hearts All the Time

There are many men and women who have served our nation in uniforms of the military branches of our great United States. They have enlisted and signed the papers, put on the faces and marched through the mud. They have seen international tours of duty and they have seen service right here at home.

Speak Up, America! Watch US Work.

Remembering America’s veterans.

Home… a word that does not ring with many of those proud people, since they do not have a home to go to. Yes, there are homeless veterans… HOMELESS… the very people who have given so much, who have sacrificed and labored and been through obstacle after obstacle, to protect the homes we go to every day, do not have a home of their own to step into.

That is disgraceful.

Yes the Veteran’s Administration (VA) system is seeing its share of dishonorable behavior and wasteful disgraces, but to think that a veteran or any military member is homeless is a major stain on our nation and a pustule on our society. These are people with medical problems due to their tours of duty, and that to which they have been exposed, such as gunfire, diseases, shelling, shell shock, PTSD, and loss of limbs. They have been sick for us, been maimed for us, and been tossed aside by us.

Something has to change, and such changes cannot wait for politics or elections. Those in office, those who command and lead and order around those veterans must step up, just like those folks did in lines of rank or to police an area of their base. They wanted things to look better, they wanted freedom, they wanted health and well being, and they were willing to sign on and give their lives and legs and hands and arms for those privileges.

Do we arrogantly stand by and wait for a new mayor or new senators or a new president to be elected before we bother to look at the endurances these proud people have made for the rest of our nation and around the world? They cannot wait for the influential, the rich, the government that hired and ordered them about, to step up.

Every veteran and their families should have a home and work that is fitting to their talents and needs. Every man and woman should have a house they can call their own, a space that suits them. If the vet has lost a limb, build them a home that will accommodate their special needs. If they are sick, give them the best care a reformed VA system can provide.

HAVE is an idea I thought of while listening to excerpts of Mayor Emanuel’s inauguration speech recently, and the acronym means Home All Veterans Everywhere.

After all, we have homes; we have spaces all our own we can go to after work and play and worship and trips to the grocery and the mechanic, so why don’t these veterans have a home?

It is going to take a lot more than dropping a buck or two in the shaking cup of a homeless vet crouched at the side of a street under a light post, or holding a sign as he strains to sit up in his wheelchair; it is going to take elbow grease action, grassroots efforts, caring and tender and loving people who deeply understand that these are their fellow citizens and neighbors.

Treat them with respect. They deserve it.

America's flag flies proudly.America's flag flies proudly.

Bless our veterans, love our veterans, take care of our veterans, home our veterans.

Divi Logan. Chicago, on this Memorial Day 2015.

Chicago Neighborhoods: Constructive, Corrosive, Communicative?

I. INTRODUCTION

Election Day in Chicago, and the candidates are out there. What are some of the topics on which they speak and on which they attempt to cater to the voters? There are the usual issues of taxes, TIFF’s, having an elected school board, transportation, the roads and bridges, and business. There is another issue that crops up in their ads: the neighborhoods.

It seems that the word “diversity” is a new concept to people of modern America, but it was not news to me when growing up in Nashville. There was not even a need to mention the word, as some kind of cajoling to get me to think of others who were different, to think of others in terms of some kind of census related terminology, or to see others for what I could get out of them for statistics, tax dollars, business funding, etc.

II. NASHVILLE NO – BOUNDARIES

The area of town I grew up in was about as low – crime as a part of a major city can be. There was no need to even think of anything dangerous happening. Police patrols were regular and it was good to see them, but they were just doing their jobs, that I knew. I just watched and went on with activities. Everyone kept their homes maintained and their yards neat, their lawns mowed, their mailboxes painted, and their noise levels down. There were no shootings, none of the “if it bleeds it leads” junk on the news networks that plagues us these days, and no talk of drugs around the area that would cause us to be on the watch for dealers/ pushers, and certainly no mention of gangs such as make parts of Chicago notable in the national scene for violence.

Not at all; our part of town was quiet, comfortable, and about as “diverse” as can be. I went to school with children who, thank goodness, did not all look like me or speak as I did, or dress as I did. They were interesting and different and my classmates and my teachers, pure and simple. We were there to learn, to play together, to interact on projects and to come and to go every week. We had no need for uniforms; we were there to do what students do – no metal detectors or security guards or metal bars needed, thank you. They might have been around but I had no need to take such heavy notice of them. I felt safe and that is what mattered to me and my parents.

The same applied to the churches I attended: it was a church, and everyone was welcome. Everyone sang, participated in Sunday School, baptisms, christenings, parties, etc. We came and went, one and all worshippers of the same God. The message was the same and we understood it.

People were people in my eyes and for my folks, who worked around the doctors and nurses and staffs of at least three major local hospitals as their careers progressed. They saw every patient, everyone who needed help, no matter who they were. I was fortunate to interact with the brilliant people who were friends of my parents, who came to our home and to whose homes we went. Compared to how people think today, my folks were ahead of the time in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and thank goodness I was not subjected to the terrible talk of what separates whom from whom and what this means to “the government statisticians” and the Census Bureau.

I traveled after high school for international vacations and the world broadened. Because I had not been so mentally restricted early in life, I had an open mind to these exotic cultures and languages, foods and attire and jewelry and histories that greeted me like the pages of an open book coming to life. I was not worried about it at all, the influence of these diverse and amazing cultures on my mind and spirit. Gone were thoughts of being separated by some imaginary line that ended at a certain street or city limit or ethnic boundary. Travel and the benefits that came with doing that made my world a better place. It was grand – the world became my neighborhood

It was marvelous.

Then I moved to Chicago…

III. CHICAGO: SIDES, DISTRICTS, and… NEIGHBORHOODS

Those candidates we will consider in this election today have spoken to and berated each other on their work with and in and their experiences with and funding of Chicago neighborhoods. They talk about how safe or unsafe “their neighborhoods” are; they talk about the closings of schools, the disrepair of roads, the lack of or the concentration of development for residences and businesses. They talk about diversity… not about unity.

We need a mayor who will break down those barriers and remove the roadblocks to progress, a friendly and open – ┬áminded mayor and the aldermen who will work with him. As Shakespeare might put it, we need someone who will “dispel these inconveniences”, which is part of a speech from the play Henry V, when, towards the end, King Henry and Princess Katharine are listening to the Duke of Burgundy speak on restoring peace.

Our mayoral candidates might have a lot of money and influence and power when the cameras are around for campaign photo opps, but they seem to forget something, that Chicago is and always has been a diverse city, and always will be.

From its inception to right now, Chicago is made up of people who interact every day with others who do not look or talk or speak as they do, people who need help and who give help and who are glad to help in their lines of work, every day. These are the retailers, the first responders, the doctors and nurses and administrators, the airport ticket agents, the airline crews, the television studio camera operators, the bus drivers, and the furniture salespeople.

Diversity is nothing new, and we just need to leave off this census -oriented thinking and make progress. Interaction is easier when we just simply treat everyone with respect and courtesy. Represent yourself as a person, a special human being, an American citizen, plain and simple; represent yourself as someone who is one of those people out there to help and to work with everyone. Close down the prejudices, and bless yourself with the qualities of peace.

We just need to do that.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2015.

Civility in the Big City: Everybody’s Duty and Responsibility. Respect is Part of Living Around Others in the City

LIVING IN PEACE AND DISTURBING THE PEACE: LEARN HOW TO LIVE IN THE BIG CITY

I. THE TRANSITION MISSION

Coming from Nashville and an area where there were large lots and homes well built to block out a lot of noise, and homes set back from the street and off the main thoroughfares, I became accustomed to not only keeping the noise level down for the benefit of neighbors and family, but to not having a lot of noise from the outside to deal with. People in my family were pretty civil when it came to not making a lot of noise in the evenings and at night. Mostly the noises came from storms and the occasional flurry of travel activity in some early mornings, along with jet noise from the airport a few miles away. Being polite and respecting others was just a part of daily living as regarded making unnecessary noises.

II. LIFE IN THE BIG CITY STILL REQUIRES RESPECT FOR OTHERS

In the big city however, in a place like Chicago, activity is constant and people have different schedules. Still, that does not mean that you can make as much noise as you want and not think whether or not it is disturbing others. Most likely it is to some degree, even though no one complains directly. No one should have to come to you or go to the complex managers or law enforcement to quell disturbances of the peace or check upon the belief that there is suspicious activity going on. In doing things very late or on a pattern take care in this instance, for patterns of activity might be taken by some to indicate drug activity, as in getting drugs ready for drops at certain times and places. By making unnecessary or late noises or noises in the early part of the morning you might attract attention from the law or from apartment managers or angry tenants who might not take kindly to the noises you are making once it is found out that you or your guests are the source of the disturbances. It is just better to keep the noises down and not attract attention in the first place.

No one should have to tell you to lower the noises; you should take care not to make excessive noises especially when you live in an apartment or condominium complex. That means simply that others do live around you and that you should have a care not to be loud after regular working hours. Many older buildings do not have soundproofing as some newer complexes do, so sounds such as slamming doors, toilet seats falling hard, heels on tiled surfaces, kids running around on uncarpeted flooring, and dropping tools carry through walls and ceilings, even though the actual action is not directly above or below where the sounds end up being heard.

It is simply keeping with what it means to be a “good citizen”. Now good citizens have certain qualities, among these being trustworthiness, accountability, honesty, and community service, keeping up with current events, voting and the like. But the golden thread that binds the other facets together is RESPECT FOR OTHERS. This is so vital, so essential to living together in harmony and maintaining discipline and good society. Respect is so simple, more so than being bad or rowdy or upsetting or arrogant. Being civil and polite are so basic, and really are easy to do, as to smile is better than to frown. It makes you look better, look good, have a better outlook on life and on daily activities.

In major cities with tall buildings, sounds can also carry oddly from the outside. Storms sounded very strange when I first moved here; echoing thunder and wind seemed to come from every direction as the storms came in and would whip around structures. Sirens seem to come from one direction when in fact they come from another, and yelling comes from corners, with horns, stereos from cars, and the humming, roaring motors of trucks or vehicles that need mufflers. Some noises are to be expected where, as in Chicago, there is a mix of old and new structures, high rises, apartment buildings in various states of repair and material construction, and people who do not pay attention while driving. With so much activity you can expect first responders to be active on occasion, and you might hear some shouting or screaming or the occasional brawl. First responder activity is part of big city life…

In-complex noises are not part of big city life.

You can take steps to prevent excessive noise or noises late in the evenings after eight or ten PM when people are settling down after hard days at work. Think of what it would feel like for you if someone made noise that prevented you from settling in or eating a meal in quiet or going to bed and getting up timely so you could do a good job at the office. I doubt it if you would appreciate someone making noises or being inconsiderate and impolite. You might take steps to see who it was making the noises and ask them to stop.

But then the noises should not be happening in the first place, should they? Remember, folks, you aren’t in a detached house with a yard or separate driveways. You live around others so changes are in order so everyone can live in peace and happiness and more contentment. You can take basic steps, such as closing doors quietly (no slamming), taking out your trash in a timely manner, taking off heeled shoes when you must walk on tile or other hard surfaces, setting down tools and parcels carefully (after all, tools can break too and they are expensive many times to replace, and if they belong to others all the more reason to be careful with the possessions), not allowing things to drop (yes accidents do happen but you can exercise care and caution and go slowly and not lift a lot at one time in order to lessen the chance of dropping something), holding parties in party rooms or outside of the complex, and making sure your guests are quiet and do not talk loudly in hallways.

Guests must be respectful as residents are respectful; they need to adhere to the rules of the complex and not use areas where it is required that they be accompanied by a resident. They should hold to the rules many bars and restaurants post, asking patrons to keep the noise down and leave quietly so as not to disturb neighbors. Everyone should take more steps to be mindful of the rights of others to peace and quiet and relaxation. Big cities have enough stresses and stimuli without people making more noise than is needed.

Civility does count, and that applies to EVERYBODY. It applies to me and to you, to all who deem they are good citizens. Civility has a place in every society.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2015.