Short on sympathy

By Joe Rector

Sometimes, fits of honesty come over me, even though I try diligently to fight them off. It’s during those times that being truthful makes me see and admit my shortcomings. Upon reflection, I finally have to admit that my negatives are glaringly obvious. At the top of the list is my lack of tolerance for some folks.

I am less than kind to bad drivers. You know the ones to whom I refer. They drive in the passing lane at less than the speed limit. Not for a minute do they think of moving over so that others can pass.

At the same time, the folks that drive as if the Interstate were a racetrack infuriate me. They insist that everyone yield to them, and if a car is traveling at the speed limit or a bit over, these morons tailgate the person. They think that maneuver will force the car in front to move. My ire rises as my foot lets off the accelerator. When I have passed the cars who are in the other lane, I “ease” over, never hurrying to get out of the speeder’s way.

I am most prejudice against those drivers who zip down the right side of the road and then cut into a packed lane of traffic. Under no circumstances will I allow them to pull in front of me. On some occasions, they’ve come within inches of hitting my vehicle because they thought I would just stop when they turned on a signal light. “It ain’t happening.” Call that road rage if you want to, but I refuse to allow drivers with no regard for others to take what they want when they want it.

I also have no tolerance for lazy students. Yes, I was one of the worst students in my high school class. Even with that, however, I did enough to make it to college. There I studied constantly and struggled as the result of my poor efforts earlier. The world now is a much more demanding place for people. Without an education, individuals become a part of to 8-40-52 club. That stands for $8.00 an hour, 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, equating to $16,640 a year before taxes are taken out.

Young people who refuse to work in school are dooming themselves. I have no patience with them and want to grab them by their collars and tell them that being lazy now will result in hours of hard labor for years to come. I want them to become proficient in something. If college isn’t for them (it isn’t the great panacea that some paint it to be), they must learn a trade of some kind. Their skills must be such that the closing of an assembly line or a fast food restaurant doesn’t doom them to a life without income.

I reserve my greatest anger for those who abuse animals. I’ve seen so many photos and stories about the mistreatment of pets. Owners fail to feed them. They are housed in deplorable conditions. Some are beaten or kicked for doing what animals naturally do.

The abuse of a child or another adult is unconscionable; the acts of cruelty to an animal are every bit as evil. No pet should ever be placed in the hands of such a disgusting person, and it is the job of each of us to report abuse when we discover it.

I am not much of a forgiving person. Admittedly, I easily identify others mistakes while being blind to my own. Maybe more time should be spent on my personal faults and less on others. That’s a nice thing to say, but the truth is that I’ll still steam at the acts of these groups. I’m a work in progress, but the work is much and the progress is little.

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