Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Not About You

I went to the post office yesterday to mail our tax returns. They were asking everyone to fill out a "survey". Apparently, the postal service is considering closing down this particular post office. The employees are unhappy about it. The customers there with me were unhappy about it. This survey was apparently supposed to communicate that unhappiness to the powers that be and convince them to change their mind.

I declined to fill out the survey. (Actually, I lied and said I'd already filled one out. Yeah, I'm a little ashamed. But just a little.) Mainly I declined because I was getting annoyed at the comments floating around the room concerning the matter. Comments primarily along the lines of, "I don't want to have to go all the way downtown to get to a post office."

Well, I don't either, but sometimes that's what you have to do. I don't know why they're considering closing this post office, but I assume, considering the dire financial straits our government is in, it has something to do with operating more efficiently and cost-effectively. I doubt they just decided to lay workers off and inconvenience their customers on a whim. And if that's what the post office needs to do to stay solvent, I'm not going to complain.

I forget which president it was (Reagan maybe?) who asked the American people during his campaign to consider if they were better off now than they were when the incumbent took office. I know a friend of mine, several campaigns later, used that argument as the basis for her vote: "I know four years ago I had a job and now I don't. Let's get that lamebrain out of office."

What a stupid reason to vote for someone! Basing the decision entirely on your own personal situation. In the words of a well-known author, "It's not about you."

Your personal life situation has much more to do with yourself and your own decisions than governmental policy. Maybe you were not a good employee. Maybe you picked the wrong career. Maybe your industry is suffering a temporary setback and you need to buck up for a bit -- or maybe your industry is on the way out and you need to find a different direction entirely. In any case, your life is your responsibility, not the government's. The president isn't elected to keep you well-fed and living in two rooms and a bath. That's YOUR job.

We are a very self-absorbed nation. We vote for candidates who promise programs that will make our lives easier, no matter what it's going to do to anyone else's lives -- or our children's lives, who have to pay for all this caretaking eventually. We don't vote on principle, because we're not a people of principle. We're a people of pleasure.

So, fine. I'll go downtown to mail my packages. Because it's not about me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you think that the postal volume is directly related to the fact that many people do their taxes online?