I read this article in the Post a couple weeks ago.
Maybe Kel or Paula shared it with me, I don’t remember, but I’ve been mulling it over ever since.
I didn’t really see how it might have implications to my life, until today.
Thank you, Universe!
A bolt of lightning struck at Aldi’s that showed me how much socialization matters and how it is impacting our decisions and actions.
Aldi’s was busy, as would be expected two days before Christmas.
A white woman, about my age, was trying to get to the maple syrup. I know this because I also needed maple syrup. I was able to watch her contortions while she attempted to reach it. It was blocked by a cart like this, filled with grocery that needed to be shelved.
As she was trying to reach the item she needed, the older white fellow she was with moved the cart out of the way so she could easily reach it.
She got her maple syrup, and as she walked by me I said, “I know this is stereotypical, but it would be a white man who would think of moving the cart.”
She laughed and said, “Yup, I was just trying to work around it.”
I laughed, too, and said, “Oh, I know. I’m grateful to him because I needed maple syrup, too.”
We laughed some more, wished each other Happy Holidays, and went on our way.
But I had to stop in a quieter aisle to catch my mental breath.
Why the heck didn’t it occur to me to move the cart?!
Why did it never even cross my mind?!
Because it wouldn’t feel polite? (TO A CART?!)
Because it wouldn’t feel like I was supposed to touch it?
Because it might hinder someone else?
Then I started thinking about how many other times I might have missed the opportunity to “move the cart” and didn’t even realize it.
Maple syrup in a grocery store; only a big deal to Yessa who needed it for something she wanted to make.
Not “moving the cart” and missing out on a job opportunity, a speaking engagement, a chance to share an idea in a class or a meeting?
And the other woman’s comment, “I was just trying to work around it.”
There’s a lesson of a lifetime in that sentence, too. What things do we just “work around” that we really shouldn’t? Things we shouldn’t accept, but do?
I suspect there have a been a lot of carts over the years.