The right thing to do | AspenTimes.com

The right thing to do

Dear Editor: This letter is in response to Michelle Wagner (Aspen Times, June 23). I think that a lot of the problems which we encounter in this town stem from one thing: a privileged attitude! Whether it is someone who ignores traffic rules at the Buttermilk light heading eastbound, or someone who leaves their grocery cart shoved up against someone else’s car while they drive away unconcerned, the problem is the same. Some people just decide that they’re just too darned important, old, rich, pampered, entitled, late (feel free to insert whichever excuse word you would like in this space), to follow the rules which are in place to benefit the many, at the expense of the few.When I was a small boy, I was taught “social responsibility” by my Grandfather. As we would walk into the grocery store, he would grab a basket and tell me to do the same. Since I thought as a child, I would ask why I should push a cart which I hadn’t put out in the parking lot, back into the store? He would tell me that it was because some people were too lazy to put their own carts back, and in order to help the running of the grocery store, and to keep carts from making dents in your car, it was the right thing to do. Hmmm, the right thing to do. Apparently some of our town’s commuters or inhabitants have no idea what the right thing is. There is an old saying that, “Any time you have the honor system in place, there’s always a group of people who like to prove they don’t have any.” When people like Ms. Wagner call those who obey traffic rules “sheep,” she merely does so to assuage her own guilt at being one of the transgressors. She knows the right thing to do, but because she decides her situation justifies it, she deems the rules regarding the HOV lane are dumb and decides to ignore the rules in place. When we defy the rules in place and create our own which better serve us, it is called “situational ethics.”Every decision we make matters! It’s what you do on the inside of your tinted car windows, where no one can see you, that demonstrates who you really are. Those people who disobey the traffic rules at the Buttermilk light, at the roundabout, in the grocery store parking lot or wherever else they interact with the rest of society are telling us we just don’t matter as much as they do! If we are stupid enough to obey the traffic rules while they use the roundabout for a high speed passing lane, well then we just must be stupid losers.Well, as for me, I will choose to do what I believe is the right thing to do, even if it costs me a few minutes of discomfort or delay. Because I see such a thing as the loss of ones’ personal integrity. By doing what I believe is the right thing, at least I can salvage my honor. How about you, or don’t you have any honor? Michael YoderAspen