I recently had a couple of experiences that really did not surprise me. These experiences involved an individual who really has voiced his opinion about those in authority and has used some very profane words to describe his personal feelings towards a specific group.
The reason why these encounters did not surprise me was attributed to the fact that there are some biased opinions. And for whatever reason, there is an unwillingness to discover a solution, which continues hatred. Another large factor is that some individuals are not willing to investigate the subject. These individuals rely on “what I heard” instead of “the research that I have done.”
Again today, I observed this same individual. While crossing Brady, he was walking north on the sidewalk. When he reached the intersection, he just walked out into the roadway without looking in either direction. I believe that he did this because, ‘he has heard that pedestrians have the right away and that everyone else must maintain their distance and give the pedestrians the right of way.’ This is not an exact quote, but is close enough that I didn’t want to transcribe the statement.
If this young man had done his research, he might have a little more understanding of the title and section. “When traffic control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon that half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.”
This does give the pedestrian the right of way, (key words here) in a cross walk. But there are also circumstances where a pedestrian must yield to vehicles. “Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point, other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.”
But the laws continue with “No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle….”
Looking at the two together, motorists must yield to pedestrians, but pedestrians have a duty to first make sure that it is clear to proceed. That is really a common sense issue, especially since pedestrians weigh so much less than vehicles.
And then there are those times when a pedestrian is crossing the street in a neighborhood. The laws clearly state how and when it can be done. “A pedestrian crossing a street in a residential area shall take the shortest possible route to the opposite side of the street and at a right angle to the side of the street.”
So if one was walking diagonally, they would be violating the city ordinance, in a residential neighborhood.
The amazing thing is that the government has also developed a way for pedestrians to walk along the roadways. Now, if this wonderful individual had known this ordinance, he would have been aware that he was in violation again, but instead, he “heard that it was okay”.
When there are sidewalks provided, “it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon any adjacent roadway.” And by chance there are not any sidewalks, the pedestrian is subject to walking in a specific manner and place upon the roadway. “Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a roadway shall, when practicable, walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.”
So when this individual was walking in the roadway, there happened to be a sidewalk. But had there not been a sidewalk, the individual should have been on the left side of the roadway. Not walking in the middle of the lane, on the right side of the roadway, in the same direction as the vehicle traffic.
Now when someone sees a public servant speaking to an individual, I guess that some would place that in a category of harassment. I am not one to advocate entering into a situation that does not require your presence, as two individuals stand talking, but I also would not advocate making assumption either.
I recently made an assumption based on some words on a website. It was not clear that this individual was not an employee, merely talked about staff and a name was listed. Now my assumption offended someone. Well, I did not intend for this to occur, but I do recognize that I could misinterpret the wording to make that assumption. I also believe that someone can observe an incident and misinterpret the situation.
What I have discovered is that when one learns the other side, or are at least willing to listen to the other side, great strides can be reached to overcome adversity. But my experience with this one individual, who loves to use profanity to describe a group of people, and his confrontational attitude, will only continue the hatred.
But if he only knew, knowledge is power.
So based on his lack of knowledge, I believe this is where he has developed such a poor attitude towards those individuals who protect and serve. I am sure there are more reasons, and I am absolutely positive that he is not totally to blame for his hatred of certain individuals. But the combination of the two facts should not be representative to all. Those individuals charged with authority should discover some understanding and this individual should investigate and learn.
Together they could resolve the misunderstanding and might even become diverse enough to change attitudes towards one another. This change could also have a drastic effect on others and could actually provide for a better community. But instead, the hatred continues with a biased attitude and a continually growing perception that anytime someone of authority approaches, this one individual sees it as harassment.
It does not matter what the truth is, it is all about perception and has a basis of discrimination and hatred. And as long as others only look at one side, they will continue to support discrimination and hatred.
When we work together to learn about a situation, and ask the right questions, then we can improve on the relationship between authority and citizen.
When I saw this young man again today, I realized that his unfortunate life cannot tolerate any contact with authority unless it is absolutely necessary. I asked questions, “Will this encounter be hostile?” “Is it worth creating a situation that is going to be hostile?” “By trying to explain the ordinances, will it improve the outcome and provide for understanding?” “Will this young man be willing to have a conversation with authority without biased and discrimination?” “Would it be rational to try to have a decent conversation with this one individual?”
I then continued to ask questions, but decided that entering into a situation that was going to turn hostile was not worth the aggravation.
The hatred is so strong; it is almost like a drug addict. Trying to overcome that addiction of hatred of authority is going to take years of work and then as one continues to live life, it will be a constant battle to maintain distance from the hatred. I am not even sure that those around could make a difference.
There will be a day when the situation will break, but it will again be an extremely unfortunate situation.
I hope and pray that one day, things will change in a specific culture to make life more enjoyable for a few.
Now I shall place my soap box in my dark closet. Because the reality is, there is someone who can complain about another’s actions. But again, it is only one-sided and based on personal experience, I know the outcome. Because what I have discovered so far, is that there is a strong willingness that exists, which provides for a one-sided event. That based on this one side, someone is going to be extremely offended and will complain to those who are required to listen.
See a defense has already been mounted and the comment of getting ones facts correct has been used. This statement tells me that the hatred continues. So I guess the misunderstanding will continue and nothing will be resolved. And again, we all loose.