A situation at the car wash recently had me wondering: is common courtesy gone? Have we all just lost respect for one another? Let me explain.
We were waiting behind a person who was washing their car in a bay. They looked like they were nearly done washing their car so we chose that bay. We patiently waited until the person was done, almost gleeful when they hung the hose back up. Expecting them to pull out of the bay, we watched with growing frustration, the person take out a rag, some spray wax and begin hand-waxing the vehicle. Right there in the bay.
All of the bays were full so we finally chose another, having to wait another several minutes before it was our turn. Even after we were done, the person was still in that same bay, hand-waxing the car, while cars were literally lined up to the street to get into the car wash.
Now, you might say this is minor stuff. And, yes, it truly is. But, for me, it pointed to a greater problem we are having in this world right now — lack of consideration for others. Many people right now don’t even seem to realize there are others around them, much less give others consideration. I see it every day — doors slammed in faces when people don’t bother to look behind them, people being cut off in traffic and unkind people on social media and beyond. I could go on all day. Most of this stuff is small all by itself, but put it together and some days it feels there is next to zero kindness in this world.
After the car wash incident, my partner and I went to get ice cream and paid for the people behind us — a way of paying it forward and injecting that hard-to-find kindness into the universe. While this post is mainly about lack of kindness and consideration, both of those qualities are out there. I promise.
I am a believer that people are mostly good, but so many people are lost — lost in their own little worlds, lost in their pain. lost in this world in general. It’s up to all of us to hold up a candle to light the way.
I challenge all of us the next time we get frustrated with things like the car wash lines or having a door slammed in our faces to stop and override that frustration with a random act of kindness. Imagine what the world would be if more of us did that.