©2020 Erin Newton, www.thewellnessgarden.ca, All rights reserved
People who don’t return their supermarket carts are monsters. I’m convinced that they are the same people who put their dog poop in a bag but drop the bag on the ground. They don’t flush a public toilet after they’ve used it and they, most assuredly, leave their garbage on the table at the food court.
If this is you, I am sorry.
Actually, no. I’m not sorry.
You’re a monster and I am judging you.
We’ve all seen them. They live among us and we don’t even know who they are until we let them in our lane and they don’t say thank you. Monsters! When I hold open the door for them and they walk right through without acknowledging my existence, I think to myself, “Who hurt them?”.
I often wonder what primitive urge creates this level of entitlement. How does this happen? Is it nature or is it nurture? Universities need to conduct studies. We need to gather a team of psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists and fund a massive study. Could this ideological notion of "Someone will come along to clean up my mess", be something that we’re born with or it is created through years of conditioning?
So how do we continue to give in a world that seems intent, nay emboldened to take, take, take? I proffer that it’s all about mindset: that is, we need to stop internalizing other people’s rude behaviour. Hear me out. What I mean is that it’s not about us: it’s about them. People who are acting out in inconsiderate ways, may not be, at their essence, inconsiderate. When we separate the action from the person, we can respond with compassion instead of anger. Is the person who leaves their supermarket cart in the middle of the parking lot a monster or a single mom whose toddler is having a melt down? Could that person who walks through the door you’re holding without saying thank you, be contemplating a divorce? Might the person who leaves their garbage on the table at the food court be rushing to tend to an elderly parent?
The truth is, we don’t know why some people lack consideration for others at any given moment. It’s too simplistic to conclude that a person is inconsiderate because their current behaviour is. One small snippet does not show us the whole picture. Having a compassionate mindset helps us to believe the best in people and to become empathetic to their situation. I mean, happy people don’t normally go through life acting like douchebags. Isn’t it more productive to assume that people are doing the best they can with what they have in any given moment? I mean, after all, isn’t that what we’re all doing?
Maybe the people who don’t return their supermarket carts are monsters. But I’d rather give them the benefit of the doubt than believe that monsters shop at my local Fortinos. Maybe if we weren’t so quick to judge others and, instead, considered what they might be going through, the world would be a better place.