Ah, the bucolic walk. Being in slow-enough motion to see buildings you've never noticed, admiring sunrises and sunsets, smelling roses. When I was young (damn, I'm old enough to say that now) walking was a pleasure. You'd see people you'd know and nod hello; you'd walk on your side, they'd walk on their side.
Today, well, people stop short in front of you, nearly creating a domino pedestrian pileup. They stop to talk to friends and stand blocking your way with no acknowledgement that you're even there. Or walkers talking on their cell phones, having conversations that I really do not want to hear, but they give me no choice. A group of four will be walking toward you, walking side by side, and they make you move to let them pass, rather than be polite and make way since they're taking up more of the sidewalk than walking etiquette dictates.
And what can you do about it? If you confront them, even gently and politely (because I have) they either ignore you or look at you as if you have three heads. "Me? I'm in YOUR way? Puh-lease, I am the center of the universe and YOU should make way for ME!!!" Well, that's what they'd say if they even noticed there was someone else on the sidewalk.
Is it the violent influence of TV and movies? Is it they have their heads buried in their smart phones texting or talking? I don't think so. I can excuse that because you can at least think they are distracted by a family emergency (or at least pretend it's that important). It's just, well, rude. And it happens all the time in every city I'm in.
There is an epidemic; nay, a pandemic of narcissism, rudeness and disrespect when it comes to walk etiquette.
Let's not wring our hands, appoint committees and spend years trying to figure out the whys, wherefores and solutions to this problem. Let's not have the government allocate a few million dollars to research how and why this came about.
Let's just, oh, what's the word I'm looking for? Oh, right, be polite to each other and acknowledge that each of us is a living being who deserves, oh what's the old-fashioned notion that was so hip not that long ago? Oh yea, let's respect each other. Would be a nice change of pace.