“Ghetto-hippie: when you try to be zen AF but you almost get into a physical altercation in the Target parking lot when someone litters. Yeah, folks, this is what I’ve become….”
So, yes, this was my Facebook post yesterday. Let me entertain you with a little story and the 24 hours of self-discovery that followed.
Once upon a time (yesterday aftetnoon), I was parking my car in the Target parking lot next to the cart return and a slushie cup came flying out of the driver side window of a mini van parked on the other side of the cart return. When I walked past the van, I said, “Excuse me, I think you dropped your cup.” The lady in the van replied, “Well then, why don’t you hand it to me.” So I did. Then I continued walking toward the store. At which point she got out of her van and informed me that I should never come up on someone’s vehicle, to which I innocently replied, “But you asked me to.” (Yes, I’m aware that my bitch-style is passive-aggressive) She then threatened to kick my ass. I kept walking. I knew the threats of a bully were empty and I had shopping to do. That was the situation. But we’ve all heard the saying, “the problem isn’t the situation, the problem is your attitude about the situation.” So now well get into the attitudes that followed.
The first was self-righteous indignation. I’m sick of entitled people destroying what doesn’t belong to them. Our city looks trashy because women like her just hurl their trash out of their vehicles in a parking lot without any regard. For her it was a slushie cup. On other occasions it’s used diapers and other things that are just plain nasty. If you want to disrespect your home, that’s your business but please don’t disrespect our community. Okay, Stacy that’s how you feel. Is fighting with this woman in a parking lot going to solve the problem? I’m pretty sure it’s not. This lady is not likely to change her ways because someone in a Target parking lot asked her to pick up her cup.
That led to an attitude of hopelessness. Then what is going to fix the problem? Luckily that was shortlived. Its not that there’s nothing we can do. We do have some influence, just maybe not on total strangers. If we can only teach our kids, and to some extent our kids’ friends when they’re with us, and hope the ripples extend out, that’s still an impact. Our influence doesn’t just extend to the next generation either; we all influence our friends and even our parents. Still sometimes we’ll have to bite the bullet and clean up after others. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see,” not force the change you wish to see.
The next attitude I had to deal with was a mix of shame and guilt. I’ve been through life coach training. I’m an aspiring Spirit Junkie. I meditate. And here I am fighting over litter in a parking lot?! Really, Stacy?! Cmon! But you know what? I’m human. And I’m passionate. That’s a trait I don’t want to change about myself, but I need to work on applying it more appropriately. Growth is about recognizing what needs work and working on it. When the incident happened, I was shaking my head at myself thinking, “Dang, girl, you have a long way to go. Stirring up trouble in a parking lot,” but since I’ve been reflecting on it and I’ve taken so much from it, maybe I’m not doing too bad after all.
So, yeah, sometimes the most mundane errands will turn into adventures and opportunities for growth. Just try not to get hurt out there.