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Article: Parking Lot Peeve

Parking Lot Peeve

I really didn't want to write this post for you.

In fact, I've been avoiding it for years…

Pretty much since I started sending e-mails to our community in 2019.

But, on the heels of my e-mail to you about giving on Sunday,

And after what I witnessed in a New Jersey parking lot yesterday…
The time has come to talk about—
Shopping carts.
I know, it's cliché—
But I'm not here to regurgitate the rant about lazy inconsiderate those people who don't return their shopping carts… 
I'm here to tell you one specific thing I witnessed yesterday about "the few" people who DO return their carts. 
So hear me out!
I'll set the scene for you…
I rolled up my tinted windows.
I cut off my engine. 
I muted my radio.
I then commenced my stakeout. 
In a Target parking lot in Hackensack, NJ, I watched people of all ages, colors, and creeds abandon their shopping carts, hop in their cars, and peel off.
They didn't even fake it—
Not even a glance at the shopping cart return station to show care or concern. 
Some even sent their carts for "ghost rides" before pulling off— pushing them away from their vehicles to drift aimlessly in a sea of parked cars. 
The nerve…
But there is hope! 
A small contingent of shoppers— very few— returned their carts…
And here's the interesting thing about them that I never noticed:
Each one took a moment to look around before they headed to the return station.
No, it wasn't so they could make sure someone saw the righteous return deed they were about to do…
They were looking to give their carts to incoming shoppers. 
I cracked my window so I could hear one exchange—
Cart Returner: "Hey, need a cart?"
Incoming Shopper: "Me?"
Cart Returner: "Yeah, there aren't many inside; want this before I return it over there?"
Incoming Shopper: "Yeah, good looking out, thank you!"
Each one tried to give their cart away before returning it. 
As if the deed of returning their carts wasn't good enough, 
They doubled down on the good and tried to give them to others and save their headaches in the store. 
This act of giving made me realize that I left something out of my recent e-mail to you about giving
It's the most important giving you can do…
Give a damn—
Give a damn about others. 
Look for opportunities to help those around you…
Even if it's just offering your cart. 
You will get all you want in this life if you help enough people get what they need—
And it starts with your cart. 
People are watching.
Be the example.
And if no one is watching—
Please return your shopping cart anyway.
Talk soon,
Joey
BTW
Carts don't get abandoned here (no surprise), but they do get 20% off and free shipping.

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