Saturday, September 11, 2010


I saw an article yesterday that made me think of the entitlement that we all feel from time to time.  Whether that be as parents, Americans, Christians, or whatever label we or other people put on us.  Here is the article for you to read: Message to parents getting louder: No screaming babies allowed!

First, some observations...
The article, like many articles or news reports, it is written to incite a reaction from the reader.
The sign that the restaurant posted saying “Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!” is seen as being anti-child rather that pro-quiet. If it said "Cussing Will NOT Be Tolerated!" would people that regularly use profanity feel discriminated against?
The restaurant in NY that banned strollers was also seen as anti-child rather that pro-safety and pro-service as a bunch of strollers could block the space between the tables.  If they banned parking bicycles in the restaurant would bikers get mad?

I see more and more that everyone wants everyone else to conform to what they want.  If someone smokes they want to smoke everywhere.  If someone doesn't smoke they don't want people to smoke anywhere.  Parents want to let their kids act any way they want and go anywhere they want with them.  People that are child free want kids not to be seen or heard.  What happened to voting with your feet by going somewhere else?

It also seems that everyone wants proprietors to cater to them also.  It seems eating and drinking establishments must have the following sections:
Child free
Smoke free
Cell phone free
Casual clothes free
Tattoo free

How about a "complaining free" section?  I suggest one simple sign for every public place "Use common sense or choose somewhere else to eat."  I know common sense is uncommon these days but let me suggest some initial common sense rules:
  • If your child is screaming and you cannot calm them down in less that a minute or so then take them outside.  
  • If your cell phone rings, answer it and go outside or away from others to talk.
  • When talking on a cell phone use a "normal voice" (under 70db). 
  • If you are unable or unwilling to talk under 70db then text them.  
  • At meals your child needs to stay in their seat.
  • If they do not stay in their seat then take them to the car.  
  • If your child makes a mess then you clean it up.
I have three four year olds and try to follow these rules.  Yes, it means that I sometimes eat my food at home rather than at the restaurant.  Yes, it means that I need to be "inconvenienced" by my children but guess what.... I chose to have kids.

If people don't start using common sense then Congress will legislate it.  Oh, wait, they already do, they tell restaurants what they can fry food in rather than letting us choose where to eat.

OK, I am off the soap box, for now:)

No one asked me to be an actor, so no one owed me. There was no entitlement. 
James Earl Jones 

I don't have a sense of entitlement or that I deserve this. You'd be surprised at the lack of competition between nominees - I think a lot of it's imposed from the outside. Can I have my champagne now?
Cate Blanchett


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