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Other People Are Real

I was backing out of my parking spot at Costco a little while ago. I saw the gigantic black SUV 100 feet away. I saw that the vehicle was moving probably three times the safe speed for a parking lot. But I kept going because I thought this person might snap back to Earth and slow down, maybe even stop. Instead, the driver laid on the horn and sped up. I planned for this contingency, so there was no collision. As the SUV sped past and came to an abrupt stop in line to get out of that lane, my wife said something like, “This younger generation doesn’t have any sense of Other People.”

Turns out the driver of the SUV was a woman in her 50’s, about 20 years older than my wife.

It’s not a new problem. It’s not even a modern problem. The truth is that few people recognize the humanity of other people. To her, my Subaru was just an orange blur on her monitor, only slightly bigger than a bug splat. Her shopping, her inconvenience at having to navigate a parking lot, and her cell phone conversation were a thousand times more important than, well, that orange blur.

It’s not just an SUV thing, either. At the beginning of our errands, we stopped at a local shop to get hair cuts. As we got close to the shop we go to, a young man in a tiny black car stopped about 50 feet ahead of us and put it in reverse. So I stopped to see what he was going to do. A woman in her 60’s was crossing the lot right between us, but he gunned it and almost hit her, missed her by about two feet, and kept going, nearly hitting our car.

He never apologized or even said “My bad.”

We parked farther away and gave him a wide berth.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  When you go out in public, say to yourself: Other people are real. Other people have feelings. Other people have agendas. If you prick them, do they not bleed?

They do.

Please send this to anyone that you suspect of lacking this sense of Other People. Let me know how quickly they flip you off when you do.

 

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