What the heck is going on in the world? It seems somebody or some group is protesting or angry at just about everything.
A recent call to TDN’s customer service sort of summed up the way the world appears to be right now. A customer complained about not getting a paper delivered. During the course of the conversation, the subscriber said TDN’s delivery had been “perfect for years.”
The caller was off-the-hook upset, yelling and seemingly apoplectic. A TDN customer service representative asked why the customer was so upset after years of perfect delivery. The subscriber went on to explain: If something goes wrong, the problem will get solved by raising as big a stink as possible by threatening folks, complaining, and using Facebook and other social media.
In other words, instead of being polite and businesslike, the new strategy is to cause a huge ruckus to achieve goals.
This incident is a sad commentary on society.
Another subscriber, a good customer for more than 20 years, also was upset over a delivery issue. He literally came unhinged in a message left on a TDN manager’s voicemail and encouraged the manager to “go drown yourself.”
These are true stories, folks.
And the anger seems to be in just about every part of society.
A 70-year old woman, who subscribes to the paper, called earlier this week. She is a big football fan and loves watching the National Football League games, particularly the Seahawks.
“They (the players) are entertainers,” she said. “I don’t watch a football game to see what the latest political protest is, I just want to be entertained.” She further asked, “Are you going to write something about this?”
Some people agree with the woman — leave your personal politics at home and do your job. Other people are more interested in social change and maintaining free speech rights.
One subscriber emailed: “Isn’t it wonderful how professional athletes are heroes for taking a knee to protest, but high school coaches are fired for taking a knee to pray?”
While this is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, the message still resonates. The high school coach the email referred to was terminated for violating direct orders from his supervisor. The school district that the coach worked for did not give permission for the prayer.
By contrast, the NFL player protests are being done with permission from team owners. While many think free speech rights extend to work — they don’t.
Our answer to folks who are tired of watching NFL players kneel during the national anthem is — don’t watch. That’s right, don’t watch. Don’t watch the game, or don’t watch before the kickoff.
We understand not watching the Seahawks isn’t a great solution, but what other option is there?
Football, one of the most popular sports in the country, regularly garners big television ratings. Lately, those ratings are down compared to prior years.
Some people attribute part of the decline to the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) issue. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain, a condition from which some retired (and possibly some current) players suffer. Research indicates repeated blows to the head and concussions cause CTE.
Some fans are lodging protests of their own by turning off the television.
The tough part about freedom, and the right to express opinions, is sometimes we won’t agree with what’s being said. While certainly many agree with the NFL players, many do not.
Taking it to extremes, we don’t support the white supremacist movement, but at the same time, we support all people’s rights to protest. It is the cost of freedom.
We are tired of the anger and the nastiness.
The United States is the greatest country on Earth. The freedoms our Constitution gives us are priceless. We don’t care what you protest, we love our country.
Do we love everything about our country? No.
But nothing in life is perfect, and never will be.
So, when NFL players are protesting and you don’t like it, protest them back – and turn the channel. Better yet, turn off the television and read a good book or go exercise.
When you are dealing with people on the phone, via email or through social media, take the advice of moms all across the fruited plains, and treat people the way you would want to be treated.
Then maybe, just maybe, we won’t be angry at everything.