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Show a little consideration
May 18, 2009 - Jody Murphy
I suppose if we all had the same set of rules for courteous behavior the world would be a much duller place to reside.
The level of self-importance by some of my fellow humans never ceases to amaze me.
I have three kids - all boys — all under the age of 7. When we make our weekly trip to church we go to the cry room upstairs.
Two of my kids are big enough (3 and 7) to sit downstairs with the congregation, but the 20-month-old isn't ready for that. He won't sit still, wants to move around and throws a holy (pardon the expression) fit when he doesn't get his way. I think he takes after his mother. :)
At any rate, my wife and I would rather attempt to control our children in the confines of the cry room — you know, to make service more enjoyable for others. My wife and I seldom get anything out of the service, but we make an effort and a weekly donation just the same. We're as regular as the second collection.
Sunday, on top of the usual cast of suspects in the cry room, we had a few others show up.
One lady was in there with two kids, who I suspect were about 9 and 11. A little old to be in the cry room IMO, but whatever.
At one point during the service I glance over and the woman is holding the 9-year-old in her arms like a toddler. This 140-pound woman has a 75 pound 9 year-old straddling her hip during the gospel. Next to her is the daughter. She would sit and stand and kneel — standard Sunday Catholic exercises — but she never looked up from her hand-held video game. Yep, she played video games through the entire service. Behind them, sat another mother and her two kids. Behind her was I'm assuming her mother. The two kids were pretty good, much better behaved than the two adults.
The mother's mother, who strolled in 15 minutes late (a pet peeve), decided to chat up her daughter in the middle of the service. First they talked — not a whisper, actually conversation level — about an auction she had been to on Saturday and discussed plans for the Sunday afternoon. There was talk of a Middleton Doll bingo (they were passing around a flier) and maybe a movie.
They actually talked louder while the service was going on so they could hear one another. These women were oblivious to their surroundings. I was tempted to bang on the window and ask Fr. Peterson to keep it down so these women could finalize their bingo plans.
The topper of course, was in addition to coming late, they left early.
I have no problem with people conversing. Just don't do it in church!
I'm not overtly religious - nor am I that considerate of others, but I do try to keep myself and my kids under control. I have enough sense to realize that when I am in church, I should be quiet. My parents got through to me at an early age: It is not always about you.
Bingo discussions could be done elsewhere. Why show up at church if your intent was to visit? Go to Tim Horton's genuflect to the muffin stand and we'll call it even. Please don't come to church to socialize — at least during mass.
The real problem - to me anyways — (get your own blog!) is that this is becoming more the norm than the exception.
Show a little consideration. Don't make me and others have to be the ones who point out that you are in church and the not the local coffee shop.
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