Thanks to the vigilance of a delivery driver and other folks driving by, a discarded cigarette butt on Westside Road didn’t become a forest fire Monday. (Nor-Val Rentals photo)

Common sense lacking

With all the distress that seems to fill our lives these days, I often crave going back to simpler times.

Back when cell phones didn’t keep us from face-to-face communication and the World Wide Web wasn’t around to distract us from arguably more important things in life.

Like our families, our morals and our social responsibilities.

But these days, many of these things seem to have been thrown out the window. And I’m not just talking about carelessly discarded cigarette butts and the ignorance some people have during wildfire season. But while we’re on the subject…

A senior recently called The Morning Star to issue her concern for butt flickers. Having conversed with a group of youth, she was surprised to learn that many new vehicles do not come equipped with ashtrays. But she was even more alarmed after this group snuffed, “what else are we supposed to do, put our cigarettes out on our legs?” Well, obviously that’s extreme, and there are many less painful alternatives – like keeping a partially-filled water bottle or can of pop in your vehicle to extinguish your filthy habit.

Now I’m not trying to pick on youth (geesh I sound old) but “what is it with kids these days?”

That self-righteous attitude seems to be breeding faster than the wildfires that are spreading across our poor province.

I’m not sure where it came from, because “back in my day” (sigh) I would get smacked up side the head for talking to an elder, or anyone for that matter, like that. These days if someone tries to smack some sense into their kid they become an instant criminal. And I don’t disagree, violence is not the answer. But again, there are less painful alternatives – like teaching, by showing, respect.

Another recent headline causing upset has been the labour shortage that has hit the region. One downtown merchant is astonished at how hard it is to find workers who are, well, ready to work. People show up late for their first day on the job, call in with countless excuses about why they can’t make it in and just plain seem to lack work ethic and initiative.

The Conservative Millennial (Allie Stuckey) sums it up pretty well in a video that has gone viral on Facebook. The Texan vlogger (video blogger) displays herself as a Harvard grad whose boss questioned her after she showed up late to her first day on the job, because duh, she was celebrating. It carries on at great lengths as she goes on and on, acting like a spoiled little brat who deserves only the utmost respect from her ‘bigot’ boss. While extremism drips from her words, the sarcasm is a great eye opener to all of us who may have forgotten that we aren’t so privileged and maybe we need to work a little harder to get where we want to be.

“Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work,” – wise words from Thomas Edison.

But perhaps putting down the phone or tablet is a good first step.

jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com