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  • Writer's pictureJeff Monday

A Pandemic of Kindness

Man, being an optimist during a pandemic is NOT easy!

Every person who works in a grocery store, gas station or convenience store that I've talked to has told me stories about how horrible people have been lately. Rude. Selfish. Impatient.

But then, on the other hand, there's that picture of all those rich people spelling out WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER with their yachts.

Seriously though, these are stressful times. People are worried. Worried about their jobs, their kids and parents, their finances. And it's inevitable that they would take out some of that on those around them. They're not mad at the shelf-stocker that the store is still out of toilet paper. They're just mad that there's no TP at all. But they take it out on whoever is closest. Which sucks.

Yet, I'm trying to stay positive. Yes, some people are not handling this well. But most are, right? Most of us are controlling our anxiety as best as possible when around others. We're getting strength from our loved ones, even if it's over a Zoom call.

And hey, there's less shopping carts in the parking lot.

Wait. What?

See, there's a theory out there about shopping carts. They are a bellwether of basic human kindness. It goes something like this: returning a shopping cart to the store or the cart corrals scattered throughout the lot is a basic act of doing the right thing. We all know we should return the cart instead of leaving it on a curb, in an empty space or what-have-you. We know we should do this. And yet, there is absolutely no punishment if we don't. Some worker will eventually come out and collect it anyway. Would their job be much easier if they didn't have to gather the carts from all over the lot and instead could just retrieve them from the corrals? Of course. But some people will claim that's "job creation".

So. We know we should do something very simple yet very kind. And there's no repercussions if we don't.

What do you do? Do you return the cart? Or leave it wherever?

By tracking how many carts are left in the parking lot, we can get an idea of the general level of kindness in the area.

Well, long story short, I've noticed less carts in the lot lately. So despite how some people are treating the workers, it seems like the majority of us are recognizing that we need to be a little kinder to each other, now more than ever. I hope that this feeling only increases as we move through this plague. Life post-COVID needs to be a better life than pre-.

We can do better. We all can do better.

Return your carts.

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