BOSTON (CBS) – At my high school, the principal had a saying he was fond of. There was only one hard and fast rule: no roller skating in the hallways.
What he meant was, use some common sense, and show basic respect for your surroundings and for other people.
It doesn’t seem like too much to ask, but for some people, it is.
According to the Associated Press, one of our most precious public resources, the National Parks, are being overwhelmed by wretched visitor behavior. Among the problems exploding in places like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone – illegal camping, theft, and that ever-popular family outdoor activity – wildlife harassment.
People don’t listen when they’re warned to keep their distance from the animals and natural hazards – the compulsion to get that selfie with the wild elk over the shoulder is just too powerful to resist.
Others are simply clueless, there’s no other way to say it. One tourist was killed for deciding that explicit instructions on how to avoid falling into a scalding-hot spring were purely advisory.
Armed with smartphones, self-confidence and ignorance, growing numbers of us are actively trashing the common natural wealth, and the Park Service doesn’t have the resources to make it stop.
I’d recommend a national effort to shame them to a halt, but something tells me they’re shame-resistant.
You can’t reason with closed minds; all you can do is take their roller skates away.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: