By Jim Wynne
Stmerippastely tribop linguiettalies aminter: oadway clinizes sobreats sinpad antion villadicance, “praining relater krl0ptyt3ch,” koppons koppons!
Wait a minute, that’s a bunch of gibberish!
Alas, it seems like lately we’ve become a society of gibberish. Not in the existential crisis way of acknowledging all languages are just random noises we have come to recognize as meaningful and reflecting on the ridiculousness of our human existence, but in a pandemic-buzzword way of slapping impersonal catchphrases onto very personal problems.
Eyeing the national news, we find problems across all industries: a turbulent revolution of the classic workplace, cargo ships anchored against the horizon line for miles, politicians arguing over their support or opposition of the latest mandates, and inflation projections on everything from apples to Apple.
We set down our smartphones, click off our televisions, toss our newspapers and walk out the door as if these problems also get left behind.
We’ve become so desensitized to trauma on a national level, while simultaneously becoming so radicalized in our “us vs. them” thinking on a personal level, that we often completely overlook people as individuals and instead only see the collective groups we have mentally pre-sorted civilization into.
We have flipped the classic idiom, now only seeing the forest instead of all the trees that make it.
Today, I urge us to not forget the local effects of the cosmic cause, the little people behind the big words, the correlation of what we experience on Main Street to what is happening on Wall Street.
“Global Supply Chain Issues” and “Rising Freight Costs” mean uncontrollable stress for the small business owner who doesn’t have enough inventory to satisfy customers.
“Sticker Shock” and “Unchecked Inflation” mean the downtown sandwich shop isn’t sure what to do when the cost of your favorite ham is now triple the price per pound from their supplier.
Do they make customers literally eat the costs or do they cut into their own profitability—the same profitability that allows them to employ several local college and high school kids, a couple of working parents, and two longtime employees who have fed the community for the last 20 years?
“Trickle-Down Economics” and “Group Think” mean toilet paper, at-home COVID-19 tests, and fitness equipment are constantly back-ordered, with no end date in sight.
As a matter of fact, it often seems the only thing in stock are complaints, impatience, and rude behavior.
We were upset we couldn’t get an e-bike quickly enough to go enjoy the beautiful beach where we live. Now, we are upset everyone has an e-bike and is going out to enjoy the beautiful beach where we live.
We were upset we had to do outdoor dining patios and curbside pickup; “what about all the lost parking?” Now, we are upset we got rid of the outdoor dining patios and curbside pickup; “who even needs all this extra parking?”
We were upset people had to work multiple jobs just to earn a “living wage.” Now, we are upset the “Great Resignation” and “WFH” opportunities have resulted in “Labor Shortages” across many customer-service industries.
Now that I’ve got all sides upset at me, let’s wrap this up while I can still show my face around town.
The next time something around our Spanish Village by the Sea is out of stock, understaffed, overpriced, undone, overdone, inside-only, outside-only, only-allowed, or no-longer allowed: please remember the little people with whom you’re dealing. We promise to do the same for you, neighbor. Keeping San Clemente—well, San Clemente—starts with you.
Stay civilized. Stay local. Stay San Clemente.
Jim Wynne, a San Clemente local, San Onofre Surfing Club president, and father of five, serves as chairman for the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce. As president of WynneCRE, he has shown his dedication to helping small businesses with their real estate needs and protecting San Clemente’s small-town interests through active community participation and reporting on business news topics. Arrow Santos, a San Clemente native, professional writer/photographer, contributed to this column.
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