Chew With Your Mouth Closed

About a year or so ago, I was with my kids at the Patrick Henry Memorial Library in Brookneal, Virginia. We would go up there quite a bit to read and we love the library. Sometimes we would read for fun. Often times, we would read for school. From time to time, we wouldn’t read at all but would play with legos in the playroom instead. However, regardless of the reason we had for being there, one thing remained the same.

We stayed fairly quiet.

After all, it’s a library. That’s kinda what you do in a library. For that matter, if you ask the majority of the earth’s population to name the top three places that you need to be quiet at, the library is probably pretty high on the list.

Not everyone got the memo…

On this particular day, someone chose to eat lunch in the middle of the library. If it was a sandwich, it wouldn’t be too big of a deal. After all, sandwiches do not fall in the category of loud food. Not in the same way that celery or carrots or say, an entire bag of potato chips would.

Yet, here we are. Sitting in the library while this lady chowed down on this bag of chips. Mouth wide open, completely oblivious to her surroundings.

Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

So, I don’t typically poke fun of people online (can’t say the same about offline) but here it is. And, I have some advice to roll up alongside it.

Be aware of where you are and be conscious of those around you. Chowing down on a bag of chips like you are attempting to break the sound barrier is not something that you would typically do in the middle of a library. But, it doesn’t just stop there.

Elisa and I frequently comment on our frustrations with the average, every day Wal-Mart shopper. See, the thing about shopping in the grocery store is that traffic laws within the store are not that different from the traffic laws on the road. Just as you would not stop your car in the middle of a busy intersection in order to have a conversation with someone else who is also in their car, the isles of the store are not made for a long catch-up session.

Unless you are in England, you also would not drive down the left-hand side of the road. We all understand that traffic flows the best when we all remain in the lane that is designated for us. The same can be said for the grocery store aisles. Stay to the right so everyone can continue moving along.

I know. I know. If you are reading my blog for the first time, you probably think I’m a jerk. Also, if you’ve been reading for a while, you might think to yourself, “Dude, what’s up with Strange?” Well, both of these might be the case. But, there is a point.

I spend most of my day attempting to get my kids to understand that they are not the center of the universe. I want them to see that there is a whole world of people around them that are, in the least, just as important as they are. I wonder how many other parents take the time to share these lessons with their own children. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if, instead of focusing on our own lives and comforts, we began focusing on the needs of those around us?

I know the library and Wal Mart stories aren’t going to change the world. However, you gotta start somewhere. The next time you’re out shopping, be aware of those who around you. Be courteous to people, maybe even helpful. And, for the love of Pete, the next time you’re eating loud food in a populated room…

Chew with your mouth closed.

Life is Strange. Live it Well.

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