The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Bonnie Davidson
Bonnie & Box Of Chocolates 

Social Responsibility and Random Acts Of Kindness


Imagine a scene that you've probably witnessed and never really noticed. A car drives around a parking lot several times. The driver seems to be hovering towards the front of the lot almost waiting for someone to pull out. You vaguely notice a passenger in the seat next to the driver, but you tell yourself, “Gosh that guy's just lazy, why doesn't he just park in the back?”

You sit in your car and tell yourself you're going to sit there and not move your vehicle until he moves from the area, not willing to give that parking space to someone so selfish.

Now take a step back and put yourself in a different view. Now you're the driver. Your loved one sits next to you in the seat. It's been a rough day running all the errands, picking up medications and now you've got to get back home and get dinner ready. You look for those handicapped spaces but all of them are taken. You reach for the placard in the glove box and get it ready for the rear view mirror. You hope that someone moves from one of those front spots.

You get frustrated as you realize several of the cars in the handicapped spots don't have a pass or plate to authorize them. You feel like breaking down while you drive around in hopes someone up front will move. You notice someone in their car, in the driver's seat, but they're just sitting there. You give up. Time to get out of the car and get in the last minute groceries needed for dinner.

You finally park in the back and then watch as the car that just sat there backs out and drives away. At this point you've already begun to unload the wheelchair out of the trunk as your loved one waits in the passenger seat. You shake your head as you already feel exhausted and now you've got to juggle the chair and a cart and make your way to the back of the lot around other cars and people. This long day has paid its toll.

You might relate to both of these perspectives. I know I do. I was a caregiver for three years and while I absolutely loved my job, shopping could be fun but it was a chore with a wheelchair. Several times I'd pull into a Wal-Mart or a grocery store and find myself so frustrated as I watched people purposely block me from front parking, and then their look of shame as they watched me pull out a wheelchair from the trunk while the drove away from their spot.

Before being a caregiver, I was one of those people. I always tried to find the spot up front. I never took handicapped parking, but I always told myself I was in a hurry.

Being in a rural area we sometimes forget that those marked spaces are needed. Those spaces are one small blessing to someone who struggles to make a few steps. Glasgow Police Chief Bruce Barstad explained that those spaces have to be properly marked before officers can act. Vehicles that park in those spaces can be fined up to $100 if they don't have the proper permits.

Unfortunately spaces that aren't marked with the universal symbol and marked with the fine that could be enforced if you don't have the proper permit aren't enforceable by local police. Although, private property owners could tow a vehicle that is parked in their space.

Recently a comment on Facebook was shared in our local area about spaces being taken at the high school. The person commented that teachers and students often took front spaces up, many of them marked. I can understand how frustrating that can be for those who would have to park in the gravel lot towards the back and worry about a walker, wheelchair or cane on the way up to the front.

My challenge not only to the schools, but to all the public is to take a moment. You might be in a hurry but if you have a body that allows you to walk a few extra steps you are blessed. Park towards the back. The extra steps might also help give you an extra boost of endorphins and help put a smile on your face and maybe help with the door.

It might not be a requirement, but I think it's a social responsibility to not only be aware of your surroundings, but to be aware of possible situations and to help out your neighbors and community members.


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