I just experienced one of the most disgusting things a person can do in public and still get away with it: Someone hocked a loogie the size of a softball out of an SUV while waiting for the light to change. And what made it worse? It was a woman (at least what appeared to be a woman, but I could be wrong about that as well).

My momma taught me right from wrong, to say “please” and “thank you,” to flush the toilet and wash my hands, to smile at strangers (makes them wonder what you’re thinking), and not to spit in public. That would, I believe, include whirling a huge bomb of saliva from the car to the street. Now mind you, I’m no prude. I love watching a good spitting contest like everyone else. I’ve seen my share of life to know that very little bothers me or grosses me out, but at some point we really have to draw the line. I mean that thing was so nasty, she should have announced it’s arrival to everyone around: “Heads up! INCOMING!!”

So why do I bring this up? Well, it seems to be a common thread in life these days – the lack of manners, respect, and the overabundance of stupidity that runs rampant in our streets. Now I’m not talking about everyone becoming like Ms. Manners, but you just know that if the shoe was on the other foot (or, in this case, if the loogie was on the other tongue), and she had to cross the street and stepped in that mess – or even worse, slipped on it and sat in it – she’d be ready to kill the person who hocked it, or worse. Wars have been waged for less.

We seem to forget that every action we make has an effect on the world around us. When we do something, we need to remember what our actions would be like from the other side (e.g., if someone else did it to us, or we slipped and fell on someone else’s loogie). If we can’t respect others, how can we expect others (anyone) to respect us?

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