An Important Message From the Soapbox

We all have things that aggravate us, right?  For some, it's traffic.  For others, it's waiting in the line at the "express" checkout.  For me, it's the shopping cart return at the store.  It drives me insane!  Why?  Because it seems like people need an instruction manual on how to use them.  If necessary, I'd be willing to write it myself.  It wouldn't take long, and it would read something like this:  "Please return your cart to the store or the nearest cart return.  When placing your cart in the return, please fold up the basket and push your cart forward in the return until it comes to a complete stop, thus providing room for more carts in the future.  Thank you!"

See?  How difficult was that?  But people don't do that.  The majority of people don't do that.  I know.  I've watched them.  (No, I'm not a stalker!)  Seriously, though, there are three main ways that people deal with the cart return.

1) They don't.  They leave their cart beside or in front of their vehicle.  This inevitably leads to the cart rolling off and banging into someone else's vehicle.  (I witnessed this just yesterday!)

2) They walk a few steps toward the nearest cart return and give the cart a good shove in the general direction of the cart return.  Then they turn and walk back to the car, paying no attention to whether or not the cart actually made it to the return.

3) They take the cart all the way to the return and place it (basket down) at the end of the long line of other carts that have been shoved in a haphazard manner.

Yesterday, after watching a cart bang into a very nice SUV, I decided to prove my point.  Unfortunately, Jason was the only one around to witness my tirade.  As we passed the cart return, I grabbed the last cart and pushed until it met the next cart and the next and the next and finally stopped.  Where the return had been full, there was now room for at least ten more carts.  Ten!  "That took two seconds!" I declared.  "What is the problem?"  Jason only laughed.

I don't get road rage, but this cart behavior drives me nuts, and I think I figured it out why.  In fact, it's the same reason why others have road rage.  People are selfish and self-absorbed, and they don't take a moment to think about anyone but themselves.  Leaving the cart beside the car means they don't have the walk the extra fifteen steps it would take to return it to its proper place.  (How lazy can you be?)  Shoving it toward the return and placing it at the end of the line are better but still not taking the next person into consideration because if the next person wants to do the right thing, they'll have to clean up the mess that's already there first.  See what I mean?  It's all about selfishness and being inconsiderate.  On the whole, we do what's best for us and rarely take the time to think about what would be best for those who come behind us and have to clean up our mess.

One of my new favorite songs is entitled "One Mile World," and it talks about how it's easier just to pretend we don't see the world around us.  The second verse says, "I've got enough to do to keep me busy for a week without somebody else's problems piling in on me."  Boy, that sounds about right, doesn't it?  We have our own problems.  We have our own issues.  Who has time to think about others?  We should!  The next line of the song says, "Convenience and compassion never travel hand in hand."  That's the truth!  It's not easy to go out of our way and think about someone else for a change, but it's the right thing to do.  God wants us to think about others and do for others.  He wants us to go the second mile and put the needs of others before our own.  And it starts with the little things like driving with respect and placing our cart in the return in the proper way.  When we do these things, we are honoring God and imitating His character.

Please, think about what I've said and pray that God will make you more willing to go the second mile.  There seem to be plenty of others living in the One-Mile World.

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. - Luke 6:31