Follow the Leader???

Posted: August 8, 2010 in General Life
Tags: , ,

As I was pulling into the Rally’s drive-thru today I noticed a line of cars about six deep wrapping around the building.  Now, this is fairly normal for a fast food joint, but this is Rally’s.  For the uninformed, Rally’s has two drive-thru lines, allowing for cars to go on both sides of the building for yummy burgers.  Six cars in the first line, none in the second.  Is there a problem with the second line?  Is the speaker or microphone broken?  Is there nobody inside manning the second line?  Or, is there another issue here?

I chose the path less travelled.  It did make all the difference.

I ordered, paid and got my burgers much quicker than I would have if I stayed with the other cars.

This got me thinking.  I thought about how many times people refuse to risk anything for any purpose.  We pile up behind an open register at the store when there’s another open lane 20 feet away.  We push and shove our way through an open door when we could easily open the other one and double the allowable traffic.

This line looks legit, I think I'll stand here with everyone else

These are simple examples, where the risk is only mild embarrassment.  If you try to go to the other check out lane and find out someone left it on by mistake, or attempt to open the other door to find it locked, your only issue would be a few giggles from those without the stones to try.  What’s the harm?  Why do we lemmingly follow the herd?  Why do we allow the possibility of slight embarrassment to keep us from striving for something better?

I think the principle applies to more than just fast food and groceries.  I think there is more at stake here.  We used to be a country that applauded success, expected effort and assumed risk.  We used to keep trying, keep pushing, keep moving.  We used to set goals and work at them.  We used to help others around us in their efforts.  What happened?  When did we start to hold each other back?  When did we decide that comfort was greater than achievement?  When did we stop trying?

More importantly, how do we get back to where we were?  In this era of gimme gimme, our only expectation is that others will provide.  Someone else will pay for my house, my food, my healthcare, my retirement.  I can always follow someone else’s lead.  I don’t have to try anymore.

Where am I guaranteed free healthcare?  Free housing?  Free college education?  I was raised to believe that it was up to me to work for a living.  If I wanted to go to college, I had to pay for it.  If I wanted insurance, I had to pay for it, or get a job that paid for it.  If I want a place to live, you guessed it.  I had to pay for it.  I am not entitled to a house, to education, to healthcare or free food.  If I have not made provisions for my necessities, it’s not up to the government to provide them for me.  If I want more, I need to work harder.  I don’t believe that the government shouldn’t help people, but is there a line that needs to be drawn between help and entitlement?  If so, where is that line?


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