Yesterday, as trick-or-treaters came to my door, I noticed how the youngest eagerly held up their goody sacks then cautiously said, “Trick-or-treat.” Almost all of them said, “Thank you.” Some even wished me a happy Halloween or a good night. Most took one bag of chips from the huge bowl, but some hesitated, unsure what to do because I’d stuffed fake – scary – rats in among the assorted treats.
Some… grabbed as many as they could with nary a please or thank you.
ONE trick-or-treater did this and he was at least 15 years old – perhaps older. I couldn’t tell. His “costume” was a bandana over his nose and mouth, like a bandit.
It’s sad, really. Not that he took FOUR bags of chips in his huge greedy hands, but that at his age, an age when he’s close to adulthood, he’s that greedy, that arrogant, that ‘entitled’.
It’s also sad that with all the adorable and well-behaved kids that came around yesterday for treats, the one who behaved less than stellar is the one who stands out – like the class clown, the class screw-up, the class diva.
Why we’re wired to note and record bad behavior is a puzzle to me. Shouldn’t we dismiss those who act poorly and give thought and time to those who treat us well? Who are polite and considerate? Why is it, I wonder, that acting out – being the noisy wheel that gets the oil – is the attention whore, while good behavior, which should be commended and shown as appreciated, is shrugged off because it’s how it ‘should be’?
You car may run great – for example – but instead of taking it in for regular maintenance, we wait until it acts up. Bad behavior gets the attention. Good behavior is ignored. Maybe we need to show more appreciation for the good things people do. Maybe then, we’ll see more of it – even if there’s no more of it than before.