Saturday, October 6, 2012
If We Each Do A Little
When I was out running a few errands this afternoon, I was in a shopping center parking lot and I noticed a few shopping carts that had not been returned to the place where they're kept (what do you call that thing anyway??). Since it was a windy day and they could easily bang into parked cars, I went over and returned them to a safer place. While doing so, I also noticed some discarded cups from soft drinks that had been left there, so I picked those up and threw them out.
When I got back into my car I was thinking about a couple of things. First, while I "shouldn't" have had to take care of someone else's responsibility (whoever left the items originally), I did. I think the concept of "should" or "shouldn't" often just allows excuses for not taking action. Whether I should or shouldn't have to do it really doesn't matter. It was there, I saw it, it needed to be taken care, so I handled it.
It also occurred to me that if everyone just did a few little things like that without considering whose fault it is or whose responsibility it is, we'd have a lot cleaner and nicer environment. It's so easy to just assume that someone else will do it, when we can easily pick something up ourselves.
I also have to admit that if I wasn't always on the lookout for these things (because of my kindness initiative), I probably wouldn't even have noticed the cart or the garbage. But that's also part of why I took on this project - to develop new habits and train myself to notice and capitalize on opportunities to be kind or helpful.