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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
              Thursday, October 4 2001 

Kinder, gentler?

After reading Tuesday's entry about a kinder, gentler era prompted by the violence of 9-11, reader Judy anticipated my next move, my "Let's do lunch" suggestion of yesterday, and "responded" before I even wrote it:

I felt the need to reply and make a few observations of my own. I personally think we live in a "leave me alone" society these days. Approximately a year ago, I had heard of an idea I thought might interest some family members and friends.... It was called "Person of the Month Club," and basically how it operated was; all the names of the participants were put into a container and a name was drawn...that person was person of the month.

All the rest of the group were to do something nice for the person of the month. What you did for the person of the month was entirely up to you. Examples of "nice" things were sending a card to say "you're special," send a nice email, give a small gift, offer a night of free babysitting, invite him or her to lunch, etc. I think you get the idea .

Of the 22 names I came up with to be in the group; almost half said "no" immediately, giving reasons like, "I'm just not interested," "I don't know any of those people," "Are you nuts? I never heard of such a dumb thing," ".I/we can't afford it," and on and on.. That left 11 people and most of them had their reservations, but they agreed to participate.

[Even so] the Person of the Month Club folded after 3 months due to total lack of interest. At the end of three months, the only people willing to participate were [my husband, one friend], and myself. Nobody wants to be "bothered" while they are tuned in to their Walkman CD player, or just plain doing nothing. I personally was a little amazed at the short life of my Person of the Month Club. It got so pathetic toward the end, I felt I had to force people to be nice to another human being!

I was absolutely amazed and more than a little dismayed and disappointed with my "family and friends." Maybe the horrible events of Sept. 11, will be a wake-up call to some, and maybe on some airline flight going someplace, sometime, some person will look at the person in the next seat and for a few hours think of him/her as "family" and vow to protect and defend, but if my short-lived Person of the Month Club is any indicator, I wouldn't bet on it.

I'm not passing judgement or expressing any bad or hurt feelings. I'm simply stating the facts. I hate to sound so "gloomy and doomy," but the response to my little group was my little wake-up call. I am left to believe that most people really just don't give a damn! Have any interesting thoughts on the subject?

To which I pass the question to the rest of you, having already put forth my thinking. Are these becoming kinder and gentler times? Will recession help (after all, you may need to fall back on relatives and friends for more than kind words if things get as much tougher, as some are predicting).

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Three to grow older on (series of 12)

My mind not only wanders, it sometime leaves completely.

The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you're doing, someone else does.

Sent by Sallie Covolo

Thought for the day

When conditions change, there are also great opportunities. Some people will have the confidence to recognize those opportunities and act upon them. Someday, everyone will say those people were lucky, that they were in the right place at the right time. The truth is, when you're willing and able to adapt, you're always in the right place at the right time.

—Ralph Marston


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