Once again I was up late channel surfing and stumbled across one of those syndicated judge shows on TV. You know what I’m talking about… the litigants have agreed to settle their dispute in our forum. This particular show was Judge Marilyn Milian and I have to say it was quite entertaining. I look forward to watching them all day long when I’m older and retired in between naps.
The case being tried involved a woman who neglected to put her shopping cart back into the outdoor cart depository in the parking lot at the grocery store and it ended up damaging another woman’s car somehow. And Judge Milian exclaims something along the lines “I’m so sick of people in this country who can’t just do the right thing… whatever happened to common decency. You couldn’t walk the extra ten years to put the cart away?” Well, this got me thinking about a lot of things… things we all see and do (or not) every day.
Now, so that we’re all on the same page and talking about the same thing I’d like to start with a few definitions, courtesy of Merriam Webster, to keep things in perspective as you read further.
Chivalry: An honorable and polite way of behaving especially toward women.
Manners: The way that a person normally behaves especially while with other people.
Decency: Polite, moral, and honest behavior and attitudes that show respect for other people. The behaviors that people in a society consider to be proper and respectable.
My tendency when discussing a topic with anyone, whether it is personal, professional, verbal or written is to listen and/or ask enough questions on the matter so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding between myself and other parties. Insert catch phrase… communication is key.
Definitions aside now may be a good time to inject a customary boilerplate disclaimer, as this may be the most controversial blog I write. In no way, shape or form is this or any blog I write meant for anything other than educational, recreational or informative purposes. My blogs simply share opinions and observations and are not meant to start any type of controversial debate… to each their own respectfully.
So what I’ve done is compile a list of things I’ve seen and heard of and added my opinion, unique twist or twisted sense of humor to it. Again, my apologies in advance if this blog is in any way misinterpreted. Although I happen to agree with most if not all of the following I do catch myself at times forgetting to do some of them. Just remember that this is a judgment-free zone… it’s just food for thought.
11 little things we should all think about if we’re not already doing so…
Common Sense: If for some reason you can’t, at the very least put the cart in a place where it won’t block a parking spot or roll and damage someone’s car. How would you like to receive your first door ding compliments of a stranger?
Common Sense: Aside from the fines associated with littering, I don’t understand why some people do this so casually regardless of how small it is. I find myself picking up trash regularly and even other people’s trash left in my truck bed without my knowing. Yes, I know it seems like picking up one piece of trash won’t make a difference… but it all helps if only a little. Many people keep trash bags in their cars and empty them later and this is why they make car air fresheners.
Common Sense: Take a bag with you or mark the spot somehow so at the very least you can come back and pick it up later. In some places you can actually be fined for not picking up after your pet. Pet ownership involves both the good and the bad, but the good far outweighs the bad. Others don’t want to step in dog poop anymore than you do. I’ve stepped in poop with my flip-flops… oh what fond memories.
Common Sense: Legally, pedestrians always have the right of way. Most times you’ll see they still have time left on the crosswalk timer, but I’ve seen people speed up just to turn before pedestrians crossed. Are you in that much of a hurry to where a couple minutes will make a difference?
Common Sense: Yah… this is a little bit of a pet peeve of mine. I was eating dinner with my niece one night at Moe’s and a group of teenagers behind us were eating and cussing (loud enough to hear). My niece wasn’t paying attention, but I went over and asked them to be mindful of their language. Now, I wouldn’t do this if I thought it would have created a hostile reaction, but just be careful and courteous.
Common Sense: All in one breath and in no particular order… loan her your coat if it’s cold, help her take off or put on her coat, pull out her chair when sitting, make sure she’s under the umbrella if raining as she got all dressed up just for you, open the car door for her, open any door and allow her to walk through first, pay for the first date at minimum, walk her to the door or text her to make sure she got home safely and do give her the option of either picking her up or meeting her… whatever she feels most comfortable with doing. Chalk another one up to chivalry… it’s not dead.
Common Sense: Whether it is money or something else, return it in the condition you returned it and do so in a timely manner. And if you can’t then perhaps it’s not best to borrow in the first place or others may stop lending to you. Depending on what you borrow or how much (money) it could cause unwanted tension in your relationship and be the elephant in the room each time you see your friend.
Common Sense: Indeed it likely won’t ruin their day if you don’t, but I think people really appreciate it when you do and it might make their day. Many car windows these days are tinted so you can’t see inside very well so every time someone does this for me, I actually roll down my window and wave.
Common Sense: Perhaps you just want to protect your car from door dings (which is fine), the parking spaces are really small or you just can’t park very well. Parking is limited enough in most places and if you must just park further out and walk or take your chances with what could happen like everyone else.
Common Sense: Yes, we all run late (and some times due to events that can’t be helped), but if it’s important enough then leave earlier. I like to be early for everything and particularly for a girl… it’s OK if you have to wait on them.
Common Sense: The little things we do and say can make such a big difference and either “make” or “break” someone’s day and yours as well. You know what I’m talking about… saying “sir,” “ma’am,” “good morning,” “how are you,” thank you,” “ you’re welcome,” “please,” “have a nice day,” etc. I think you know where I’m going here… and look people in the eye when they’re talking to you and don’t interrupt them. Also, respect your parents and the elderly as in many countries they are revered. A friend of mine joked with his daughter and jokingly said your Mom and I brought you into this world and can take you out of it. My point… treat others how you would want to be treated with honor, respect and dignity.
Other little every day things I like to do…
- Let someone behind me in line with a couple items go in front of me.
- Tell someone their brake or headlights are out or their tire is running low on air.
- Help someone change a tire, jumpstart his or her car or push a broken down car out of the way and safely off the street.
- Spot someone at the gym or let him or her work in with me… gym code.
- Going to the “20 item or less” line with 20 items or less… yes I actually count my items.
- Turn in lost items to the lost and found. This happens a lot at the Y for some reason. I’ve seen people post lost items they’ve found on Facebook… that’s cool.
- Pick up something someone’s unknowingly dropped and give it to the person that dropped it.
- Keep your word and your promises… integrity is an invaluable currency.
- Always conduct oneself, personally and professionally, with honesty, transparency and integrity.
- Heck, I’ve even picked up turtles in the middle of the road and moved them to the side so they didn’t get run over. Watch out… they bite!
Once again please understand that I’m not standing on a soapbox, as I don’t do all of these all the time myself. I’m not judging anyone that does or does not do so and I certainly wouldn’t say anything to anyone. I do however believe in karma (as I’ve seen it work too many times) and the words of American author and director Paul Auster.
“Good begets good; evil begets evil; and even if the good you give is met by evil, you have no choice but to go on giving better than you get. Otherwise-and these were Willy’s exact words-why bother to go on living?” -Paul Auster, Timbuktu
I also try and treat people how I’d like to be treated and if they don’t we should all try and take the high road. We don’t know their personal circumstances (or they yours) as they may have just had a really bad day, received some bad news, gotten in a car accident i.e. we just don’t know. Unless we can walk in their shoes, I like to let it roll off my back and give people the benefit of the doubt.
And for all the people out there who live to help and please, you know who you are… the heroes, humanitarians, diehard do-gooders and servicemen in all branches of the U.S. Military. Thanks for all you do and although we shouldn’t need protection for trying to help someone, the Good Samaritan law protects you.
A lot of these things may seem like common sense, but we all need reminded of the simple good we can do that can make such a big difference in someone else’s life. I’ll leave you with a video I’m reminded of and saw again this morning that I have to share… it gets me every time I watch it.
P.S. Thanks Mom and Dad for making me who I am today.
BY: Cory Prado