People indifferent to others nowadays

The country I love, a country that used to be a country of “we” and “us,” has become a country of “I” and “me.”

In days gone by, neighbor helped neighbor. He helped without being asked or any thought of being paid; he did it because he was a neighbor.

In those bygone days, every house had a front porch where people would sit and relax after a day’s work was done. They would greet passers-by and exchange pleasantries and, yes, even problems because they knew their neighbor cared. They even, at times, asked for and received advice and opinions.

In today’s world, people move out of the city into what was once farm land, buy large plots of land and build their house in the middle so no neighbor can get too close. Most of these houses have no porch. If they do, the house is far enough from the road that they don’t have to speak to anyone passing by.

People have become preoccupied with their own lives. They walk around looking down or turn their heads so they won’t be tempted to speak to a person they meet. A simple “hi” could brighten an otherwise blah day for someone. Standing in a line or sitting and waiting for an appointment is boring and a light conversation with someone could make time pass more pleasantly.

I myself, in the past, have been indifferent to others. I was what they call an introvert. I have changed my life by speaking to anyone I make eye contact with; believe me, it works. It makes me feel better and also puts a smile on their face.

I am not saying this is going to cure all of the problems in this country, but it is a start.

There are so many things wrong with the country that I love, I would need to write a book to cover it all. To mention a few: immigration, companies sending jobs offshore, special laws for certain people because of their race, gender or national origin; same sex anything is against God, who our money says we trust in; and the national debt, which every politician has promised to lower, just keeps going up and up.

I am no genius. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have common sense, which tells me something is wrong with the country I love.

CLIFFORD L. BELLOWS

Broadalbin