it was a perfect fall day here in Tampa Bay. The first one we have had yet this year .. .temperature at 5 o’clock was around 60 degrees and though the day hadn’t yet started for most folk, I was already decided on a lake visit.

I had to take care of all the babies first though, so it was closer to 6 by the time I was on the road to Lake Parker. Still plenty of time as sunrise was a little after 7:30, which meant as long as I was there by 6:30, then I was in plenty of time for nautical twilight.

There really isn’t much to see at nautical twilight and while I have included one shot of it at the end of the blog, it really isn’t worth taking pictures. But it gave me a chance to finish my coffee and breathe in the fresh air long before the business of capturing colors became an issue.

Also it gave me an idea of what was happening with cloud movement … kind of an advance notice of whether it might actually be a good civil twilight or not. So, with that little spray of clouds a few degrees above the horizon, I must admit to having a quiet sense of confidence by the time the last drop of caffeine worked it’s way home.

I was sure the actual sunrise was also going to be good, but in truth I wasn’t really interested in catching that. The colors and the way the clouds split them across the sky was awesome and gave my new day a real lift.

What actually made me decide not to linger until sunrise was the sudden arrival of six pick-up drivin’, flat-boat-pullin’ morons. As if their ultra loud mufflers weren’t enough, the sounds of their boats screaming into action and their 0 to 60 race from the shoreline as if their lives depended on it…. well, frankly it was all too much for me.

It completely ruined the peace of the morning. But, dammit, I was set up at a boat launch, so what did I expect.

I guess it would have been nice if someone had just said “hope we aren’t ruining your shots” or something. But no. Not one of them showed the slightest bit of consideration of the old man with the camera.

They were all solo-seat boats, so it was very much a boys with their toys moment. I call these kind of guys The Peter Pan Brigade … they may get older, but they never grow up.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the shots.

So, as I drove away home, I was a little miffed at their lack of consideration. I wouldn’t have objected to them launching. Not a bit. But it would have been nice to be just acknowledged, I guess.

It also bothered me that their screaming at speed from the boat launch also disturbed the herons that had been quietly fishing along the water’s edge until their arrival. I have little doubt their breakfasts were scared away.

Consideration used to be a quality that was valued in the past. But like many others in the politeness-end of the behavior-spectrum, it has been long since abandoned.

There are some people that are considerate; don’t get me wrong. But that is mostly linked to their still being some good people out there. Good people will always show consideration to others and to the environment, and to the creatures we share the environment with.

But consideration and respect, and politeness, … qualities like that are no longer taught at a serious level. And they are no longer recognized at a level to where children might aspire to.

No, we hold up as icons and leaders, people who espouse negative qualities like bullying, obstinacy, intolerance. And then one day we wake up and look at our world and wonder how come it has become so polarized, so mean, and so inconsiderate.

The way social media has morphed into a tool of bullying, trolling, and lying, should not come as any surprise to us. It had every opportunity to become an inclusive, expansive, and positive experience that bridged divides, opened doors, and broadened discussions.

But unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have seen its descent into a chaos of hate-filled, polarized view-sharing, garbage that is a reflection of the society we have created.

There should be no surprise.

People nowadays are only kind and considerate when there is a light shining on them and they are conscious of how others might see them. They only open a door for a lady when there is someone there to see them do it.

There is that wonderful Seinfeld episode when the guy behind the counter doesn’t notice George putting a tip in the tip jar, so he reaches in to take it out. The fact that he got caught is what made the moment funny. The fact that such a situation could even be considered to happen is what makes mankind sad.

Being considerate, being nice, being gentle, … these behaviors should all come naturally to us. But when our lives are all about us and the toys that we get to entertain ourselves with, then so what if we kill a few fish, scare off a few herons, and make the old guy with the camera head back to his car a few minutes early.

As long as our toy makes more noise and moves faster that the other moron’s … sure isn’t that what life is really all about?

… just a thought.