Butch's Brew: Little Things Can Mean a Lot

There are people who wonder what makes Butch Meriwether tick, what churns inside the grey matter between my big ears. Yes, I have also seized the opportunity to ramble on a little - I'm an expert at that. The following ramble could be titled "Who I Am and What I Am All About."

I especially love it when I'm allowed to jump on my proverbial soapbox and write about whatever tickles my fancy and have it published - as long as it isn't libelous and the publisher or editor of the newspaper doesn't think they will be sued over my prose.

Yep, our society has become sue happy or crazy.

Sometimes I believe controversy is my middle name, and I must say that not only do I enjoy a stimulating debate, I'm not afraid to ruffle the feathers of people, businesses and government entities that deserve criticism. People and "Big Brother" must realize they are accountable for their actions. They may get away with their self-righteous and unscrupulous maneuvers for some time, but their actions will not go unnoticed forever.

I've penned articles and commentaries about numerous subjects over the course of my writing career; some paid for by my employers and others I wrote only for the pure entertainment and what I call therapy value. I've always tried to address interesting subjects, but there have been times when I believed a particular subject or topic needed to be "championed" and addressed.

A few of the subjects I've tackled: the way people dress in public; the pitfalls of not revitalizing old downtown Kingman and remedies to inspire tourists to visit the area again; the goofy things people do to their property (excessive bumper stickers on their cars being one); challenging the government over its agendas; highlighting the good deeds of firefighters and other public officials; bringing to the forefront the customer service or the lack of it in local businesses; highlighting dumb laws that should have been repealed a long time ago; flag etiquette and how normal citizens violate the U.S. Code on a daily basis; the arrogance and egos of certain elected officials and people in general; efforts to clean up the illegal dumping in the desert; and last, but not least, praising those who deserved it and slammed the ones who needed chastising for their actions.

One particular subject I have been thinking about lately that needs to be addressed is the simple things parents have attempted to instill in their children when they were growing up. Just two of the many subjects are virtues and respect.

It appears as if some individuals in today's society have lost sight of those two important character traits I bet were pounded into their heads by their parents.

During yesteryear, a handshake was all that was needed to consummate a deal. Today, it takes a 15-page contract to complete simple business dealings. Oh, those simple days are really missed.

But one of the biggest character traits stressed by parents that have all but disappeared from today's society is respect for others. It is those little words or catchphrases that have big meanings - such as thank you, I'm sorry, excuse me, please forgive me, nice to see you, good bye; have a good day.

Loyalty and friendship also are important and will be the subjects of a future blog.

I'm not saying everyone has forgotten those aforementioned words and catchphrases, but it's apparent many have. This is evident when you are in a supermarket and someone bumps into you with a shopping cart. Instead of saying excuse me, they act like you are not even there and nothing happened. Forget about that big hip bruise they may have caused by running the shopping cart into you.

How about the person who seems to be in such a hurry while driving, they choose to almost run you off the road when another driver attempts to enter into the traffic lane. Yes, they could be in less of a hurry, show some compassion and make room for the other driver to pull out. Maybe there would be less road rage.

I still open the door for others who are heading into or out of business establishments I patronize. I realize some think that is old school, but I don't care; it shows respect toward others.

If you have never gone shopping with me, then you haven't had the opportunity to observe or hear me say hello to complete strangers and start up a conversation with them. I've even been known to sing and dance in the aisles of the store. Yep, I've even had females I didn't know dance in the aisles with me and they seemed to enjoy it. I guess I could be deemed a freelance entertainment center on two legs when out shopping.

I know my wife calls me a goofy little old dude who likes to talk with everyone and I probably embarrass her sometimes, but she does understand it doesn't hurt to be polite and friendly with people you don't even know.

The next time you head out into public, think about your persona, attempt to be kind to everyone, and try to utilize those good character traits your parents attempted to instill in you. Don't hesitate to say hello to a complete stranger, hold the door open for someone, and especially be kind to others. Random acts of respect and kindness have never hurt, and as a matter of fact, they will make you feel good about yourself and maybe someone else might also have a good day!