#1 Pet Peeve

#1 Pet Peeve: When grocery carts are not returned to their proper location.

I believe every activity in every day is a chance to practice being a better person. Why not start with the small things, like returning your grocery cart to the store or the grocery cart storage area when you are done with it? Leaving your cart next to your car where it does not belong is lazy, and creates problems for other people. Returning your cart practices diligence, personal responsibility, and consideration for other people’s property: Your cart won’t roll into someone else’s car, or have to be moved by someone else to clear a parking space or a pathway to walk. It is also a chance to practice exercising, something 60-plus% of Americans need to do more of anyway. Your time is not so valuable that you can’t take 1 minute to return a grocery cart – no matter what your profession or next scheduled activity. You probably wasted that much time (and fuel) trying to get the best parking space closest to the store entrance before you parked (and ironically, that prime parking spot is still too far from the nearest cart return station!).

The same can be said of work. I personally spend 35.7% of my waking hours at my job in a typical 40-hour work week. I try to think of my time at work as more than just time wasted. Those hours are time to practice being the person you want to be–to practice being successful. For me, that means using each moment to practice being patient, kind, hard-working, diligent, forgiving, and doing my best work at all times. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect, it just means I’m practicing being that person, and not letting my guard down because I’m clocking in my hours for the man. You have to own your life–don’t let anyone, or any job, or any situation stealthily reduce your potential for greatness–you must practice greatness in all aspects of your life.

As great people have noticed: The mind is a fertile garden–whatever you plant will grow. That means checking yourself regularly to make sure your thoughts and actions are reflecting the type of person you want to be. M.K. Gandhi said it best:

“Keep my thoughts positive, for my thoughts become my behaviors.
Keep my behaviors positive, for my behaviors become my habits.
Keep my habits positive, for my habits become my values.
Keep my values positive, for my values become my destiny.”

I believe no thought or action is to small to influence your destiny. This includes returning your grocery cart to its proper location.

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17 years ago

I try to go one step farther and correct the apathy of another by grabbing one of the abandoned carts as I enter to save a poor attendant yet another cart in 103 degrees on hot black pavement. At some point, I think those who make minimum wage deserve that little break from those of us privileged to make more. I appreciate a shared perspective on the matter.

17 years ago

Me too! Thanks for the comment…It’s nice to have a kindred spirit :)