Please Walk To The Right ~ Amy Goldberg

Huh? What? What am I talking about, exactly?

I know it’s not just me and yet I feel so isolated in my understanding of human behaviour.

It’s as if people woke up out of bed and set out to face the world in their “bubble.” It’s where, showing kindness, having manners and being courteous just seemed like it was way too much effort. One day people just decided to say; “Screw it. It’s ALL about ME and I don’t care anymore. Everyone for themselves.”

What am I going on about? I’m asking you nicely, “Please Walk to the right.” 

Case-in-point; I can walk as far to the right where there is no space between me and a wall, and people will STILL bump into me. Funny, when I was google searching sidewalk etiquette there was an article called: “A Non-Jerk’s Guide To Sidewalk Etiquette.” Has it really come to this? And why does it seem to be getting worse?

I used to run with a friend of mine. We’d run side by side and then I would sprint in front to form a single line when people were coming our way. I would automatically assume that this was the signal for my friend to also get into single file so as to not bump into oncoming people. Nope. She would hold her ground and when she did ‘slam’ into someone she was shocked – yes, shocked when they yelled at her. 

One day I said to her; “You know, I’m not sprinting in front of you to form a single line for training purposes. I’m moving out of the way so that a person has room to walk by. I thought that would be your signal to also move.” “Why do you hold your ground and bump (bash) into people?” I kid you not, she had a deer in the headlights look on her face. As if she had no clue. She said that she hadn’t realized.

I feel as if soon I will be taking the games; Dodgeball and Red Rover to the streets. After all, why do people feel that they ‘own the road’ having little consideration for others? People walking shoulder to shoulder, side by side. Yes, I feel like I’m playing ‘Red Rover.’

Ha, I actually loved that game when I was a kid. I liked running as fast as I could trying to break the human wall of locked arms, and then swinging on them if I couldn’t break through. We would inevitably all fall to the ground. It was fun. However, we played this game in a field, and not in the streets.

I’m simply stating my frustration, and noting that we can’t possibly be THAT selfish, THAT self-absorbed, THAT ignorant, and yet, quite possibly, YES, YES, and YES. 

Do you feel at all put out by this? I guess my first question should be; Do you experience this? Or, are you that person not paying attention and bumping into people?

Here’s what I know today. It has to stop. It’s exhausting. It’s rude. It’s time to start looking up and ‘seeing’ our fellow human beings.

We don’t need to be competing for real estate on the side walk. There IS enough space for all of us.

So why does this irk me so much? Apart from lack of consideration, this does remind me of my travels. I remember being in China where the streets were so jam packed with people, for example, in Shanghai, that they added barriers onto the streets to accommodate more pedestrians.

Now there was room to move, or at least that’s what I thought. However, it seemed that people still pushed and shoved their way through the streets. This was a long while back. I’m hoping things have gotten a lot better. And yet, who knows.

Side note: If you’re in Shanghai, please let me know how it is to walk the streets.

Here’s what I’m suggesting …

Let’s first start by walking to the right. Maybe that simple mindset shift will be the cue for the other less courteous things that we may be inadvertently doing, and yet (benefit of the doubt) don’t mean to be.

There has got to be a better way.

That would be one great first step forward.

What do you say?