Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Graceless Age

At the supermarket check out this week, standing at the till when the lady behind me in the queue stated in a very calm voice to the cashier: "You're too fucking slow. I haven't got all day, you know." Both the cashier and I looked at each other too startled to speak. The sort of look that an unexpected rectal examination would provoke. The lady in question then carried on chatting with her male companion repeating more of the same in an entirely matter of fact way. Sadly, the occurrence of gracelessness is all too common.

I walk my hound twice a day and deliberately seek out places where I won't encounter wild animals, aka other humans. If I see another dog walker I generally cringe if their dog is off the lead. Invariably as I attach the lead to my hound to ensure that chances of a confrontation decrease, and as I ask the person whose dog is charging towards mine: "Is your dog OK with other dogs?", the response is usually: "It wouldn't be off the lead if it wasn't." Naturally at this point their dog has a go at my dog. I then hear the usual asinine excuse: "He's never done that before." Of course, bloody not. Unless one is psychic it is difficult to gauge how dogs will react to each other. Some dogs can be very friendly like mine but then he might encounter another dog who is having a bad hair day. The best line of defence is to always put the dog on a lead. That is unless you're brain dead and ignorant. I have resorted to telling people that unless they can control their dogs they should shoot them dead or themselves in whichever order.

In France recently, as I returned from a long, divine walk away from the human race, I crossed the square in a quaint village and two dogs appeared out of nowhere and proceeded to attack my hound who was peacefully by my side and on a lead. The cafes were bustling and all of the tables in the square were filled with patrons, dining, drinking, smoking in that very French way. A perfect afternoon of meditation and communing with nature and the Gods was ruined in an instant. Where was the owner as my beloved hound was being attacked? Sitting at the cafe finishing her meal. I shouted out for all to hear: "Who is the owner of these dogs!" No response. I yelled the same question even louder. The square fell silent. All eyes were on my hound and the two little shits attacking him. Eventually a woman's voice was heard to call the dogs over to her. They ignored her completely. A long pause. She called again. The dogs continued to ignore her. I was beside myself with anger. Eventually the woman came over and tried to control her dogs which she was completely unable to. The animals would not obey her. After much screeching on her part and without success, two men from the cafe came over and succeeded in grabbing the dogs off mine. No prizes for guessing if the lady apologised. But she got an earful from me. Being French she clearly didn't give a rat's arse what I thought and obviously I had ruined her lunch.

Gracelessness has become so engrained in today's society that no one seems to be aware of how debilitating it is to the human spirit. When we detach ourselves from the effects of our actions on others, we become shamelessly egotistical where nothing matters apart from ourselves. The Kardashians are a good example of this: they don't care how debased and vulgar they appear, they're going to do it anyway because it makes them rich. They are inured to knowing how revolting they actually are.

Why not decide to regain our grace? The human spirit wants to soar and lays patiently in wait. But beware, a lifetime of indifference to our potential will snuff out all that we should and could be. Ironically, it takes the same amount of effort to be a graceless degenerate as it does to soar. How tragic that one chooses to be the former. Just a thought.

Photo copyright SvD.

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