Tuesday, November 27, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 66



'Tis the season to be considerate

Mary Carradine

If you're anything like me, you too spend the entire year looking forward to the holiday season. I have dragged myself through the spring, summer and fall semesters just to get to this one month of excitement and tolerable weather. Winter Break always brings welcoming rest and relaxation from the stress of final exams and projects.

But this holiday season is different. Undoubtedly, we will all be reflecting on those lives lost during the terrorist attacks and thinking about our military personnel who will
not be with their families this year.

The American theme of "united we stand" should be prevalent during this holiday season but I must say, Thanksgiving was hardly a reflection of such an idea.

Let's start with driving. I encountered numerous emotionally charged traffic jams during my Thanksgiving travels. Some drivers acted like it was against their religion
simply to merge. Others honked and wouldn't let other cars change lanes in front of them. These selfish travelers must have forgotten that the operators of those
vehicles were most likely American citizens too, maybe traveling to visit their grandmothers or something.

Who doesn't like the idea of a Thanksgiving spent with a grandmother? Apparently some drivers are ignorant to such an idea and did everything in their power to ruin
someone else's mood.

Retail is an absolutely horrible job to have during the holidays. As college students, we probably know several people who worked retail positions this past weekend (if
we didn't work them ourselves). Unfortunately, I was suckered into going to the mall on the day after Thanksgiving, only to see scores of temperamental shoppers being
rude to retail employees and other fellow buyers. They acted as though they were competing against the Taliban to buy that one last stereo on sale for 50 bucks.

And finally, the token holiday family scuffles ... If your family is large enough, then heated disagreements are practically holiday protocol. Sometimes it's difficult to
remain calm and respectful when you are all crammed into a small space for several days.

Some people want to watch movies, while others want to watch football. And some don't want to do either.

However, it's important to remember that the people you cut off on the roads, yell at inside the stores or throat-punch at the dinner table are your fellow Americans. They
are the people you are calling to unite with when you proudly drive around town with your American flags and stickers.

Don't let a tested temper defeat common decency. Be kind to all those you encounter during this stressful holiday season. We stand united in shopping malls, on roads,
in classrooms and everywhere else on this American soil. "United we stand" should be an unconditional motto. And if you're saying it, you'd better uphold it.

Carradine, a senior computer engineering technology 
major, can be reached at mbcarradine@hotmail.com.

To contact the Opinon Section Editor, send e-mail to dcampus@mail.uh.edu

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