JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Empathy

I’m sitting in Starbucks. Just watched a teenager drop a piece of paper on the floor, then walk out. Didn’t bend to pick it up. Clearly saw it fall. Simply didn’t care.

A few days ago the wife wrote an excellent column for CNN.com on the lack of empathy among people, and I agree 100 percent. Feel like I see it every single day, whether I’m in Starbucks or Cosi or Panera. People are just assholes. Not all people, or even most people. But many people find it OK to treat others—the ones they deem as “lessers”—like rolled-up balls of shit.

I can’t imagine dropping paper on the floor and not picking it up. Or leaving my trash on a table. Or not giving up my seat on the subway for a senior citizen. I’m not saying I’m perfect—just ask the neighbor who caught me allowing my dog to urinate on her lawn. I’m far from it. But I was raised with “Please” and “Thank you” and trying to show courtesy and respect toward all—not just those people I need.

Ugh.