Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where is the love?

Today the buses that connect the two campuses of my university had their schedule changed. This wroke havoc as many students missed the buses they were expecting to catch. One of the 2 buses from 6 o’ clock were moved to 5 pm, so at 6 there was only one bus; Some people (such as myself) who arrived on time to catch it, waited for quite a while, without a a clue why it was taking so long to arrive, until some other people mentioned that it actually had got filled pretty quickly (evidently!) and left before schedule because of that. How convenient!

So we wait a full hour for the next bus. Meanwhile other people start to arrive at the bus stop, willing to catch the 7pm bus. There was no line, so when the bus arrives, everybody starts getting entering it… until the driver says no more people can get in. About 20 people were left outside — many, including me, who were already waiting since 6 pm. We talk to the driver for a while, bet there’s no apparent solution, there’s nothing he can do.

Then I suggest him to ask the people inside the bus — those who arrived there to catch the 7pm bus — whether any of them was willing to give up their places for someone who had already waited an hour. The other guys around me laugh, which takes me by surprise. I mean, I know I shouldn’t expect everyone to be a good samaritan, but 1 in 40 is not expecting too much, right?

Wrong. After I ask the driver for the second time, he agrees to try that, shrugging his shoulders in disbelief. And voilá, indeed not a single soul felt guilty for having a place in the bus after a 5-minute wait, while condeming others to wait for 2 hours. Well, at least noone felt guilty enough to do or say something. Come on guys, where is the love?

I guess I wanna live somewhere else.

Posted by Waldir Pimenta in 22:35:27

6 Responses to “Where is the love?”

  1. Paulo Ricca says:

    I totally agree.. Most people don’t have any sense of community, everyone’s looking at their own belly button, trying to take advantage of every situation. I’m usually an optimistic guy but I’ve been noticing this stuff more and more frequently. Do you have any idea about what’s causing this? Is it just human nature or is it plain lack of education? Or is this the effect of living in big cities, where we don’t feel real people, and all the other people are just dummies we avoid contact with?

  2. Waldir Pimenta says:

    This is sort of a viral thing — a “one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel” thingy. I mean, imagine this: there’s a quite orderly line for a bus, or food, or whatever. Everything goes fine, until someone jumps the queue. After the possible initial turmoil, everyone looks past their own dissatisfaction and frustration and realizes that that guy got an advantage over everyone, without serious consequences. From that, it’s fairly easy to get everyone else behaving like that. This is something that gets permeated into the very culture of the societies. Then, children see everyone breaking the rules when noone’s watching — their parents, older siblings, other relatives, and virtually everyone who should be a reference. And naturally they grow up thinking it’s ok to do that, and even worse, thinking that who doesn’t is weak, dull or coward. Then some of these children end up working in big media companies, sometimes climbing to the top (maybe precisely due to the use of these stratagems) and start producing shows and movies that spread the image that it’s cool to break the rules, and that whoever chooses to follow them is a helpless nerd or something on that line. And the cycle keeps feeding itself… How to solve this? I don’t know, but I’ll try to pass my personal code of conduct to my children.

  3. Jorge Morais says:

    Eu estava ainda agora mesmo voltando da universidade,
    dirigindo e pensando em como o povo daqui de Brasília é
    mal-educado. Há seres tão mesquinhos nesse mundo que se
    preocupam em não deixar ninguém passar na frente deles, que
    acham que passar na frente de todo mundo no trânsito é o
    cúmulo da vantagem sobre os “otários”.

    E além do mais, aqui é o país dos esperalhões. Tanto é que
    acho que ninguém nem pensaria em perguntar se alguém cederia
    o lugar. E se ousasse exprimir essa ideia, o ônibus inteiro

    Eu tenho muita pena dessas pessoas e de nós como seres

    O amor foi vendido em liquidação, Waldir…

  4. Waldir Pimenta says:

    É, isto parece ser um fenómeno universal… será que são só os alemães que têm fama de serem organizados e bons cumpridores de regras? Não há outra opção? É que a língua não é das minhas favoritas :P mas quem sabe um dia experimento a ver se realmente é um sítio onde dê mais prazer viver…

    Se bem que o que falta não é o cumprimento de regras (também…) mas o senso comum e boa vontade das pessoas…

  5. PY says:

    Here’s some love. I’m in the US and just came across your blog because you are the featured user on the SETI@home project. Congratulations. Perhaps nobody was willing to give up their seat on the bus but that won’t matter if you happen to be the PC that finds signs of extraterrestrial life!

    Pierre-Yves Bertholet
    Alexandria, VA USA

  6. Waldir Pimenta says:

    Thanks, PY :) That won’t matter, indeed, especially if that discovery eventually helps us become a better species and more humane (pun intended) to each other…