While on vacation, for which I had a great time, I was greatly saddened by the societal decline of humanity. I’m not talking about just Americans either; I was in a place mixed with Europeans, Asians, Australians, Americans, and South Americans. The decline that I’m talking about is one that I’ve been noticing and in this melting pot of an area, my observations were proving true. At the beginning of the trip while I was waiting to greet my family at the gate, as we took separate flights, I noticed a mother and daughter also awaiting the arrival of someone. They didn’t look as though they had come from another flight, but were somehow able to welcome a loved one at the gate (those of you that welcomed someone home pre-9/11 know what I’m talking about). I was surprised and figured that their husband and father must be in the military and returning home. I was right. If there was ever a Hallmark moment that was it. Watching the little girl run up to her daddy and through her arms around his neck, with her dad hanging onto her as though time froze is such a memorable image that I’ll never forget it. The mom was just balling and our family couldn’t help but stop to share the moment and my sister and I both teared up. What was really sad though, was that no-one else appreciated the moment. While he was blocking the gate exit, people were trying to squeeze around through any inch of space rather than allowing them to relish in the moment. They had no respect for the sacrifice that he and his family had made, time apart that they will never get back. All they could think about was themselves. I was disappointed. In a vacation spot like Hawaii where almost everything you see is a potential photo shoot, one would think that texting, personal gaming systems, and the like would be avoidable. The opposite was true, sometimes people never even looked around; they were too busy walking and texting. At the USS Arizona Memorial, people didn’t remove their hats, the disrespect didn’t end there. The memorial should have been a solemn place; instead teenage girls kept crowding in front of the elderly in wheelchairs that more than likely contributed to the war effort. Most at the memorial treated it more like a tourist attraction rather than a memorial. I was disappointed.
I haven’t lost hope in humanity, there are always shinning moments that give me hope. If I were to focus on all the negative things, which I have to fight not to do, I would have lost all hope a long time ago. But I do have hope! I hope that we will pass on respect, honor, and patience; some of the things that marked the greatest generation. I hope that there will be another great generation though, and that some of the more valuable and honorable human traits won’t be lost to convenience.