“What,” she asked my husband as she shuffled out of her car.
“What do you mean ‘what?’ You just hit my car,” David growled through gritted teeth, while pointing to the spot on his passenger side door where the woman just smashed.
Even David admits it was an accident. He said the wind whipped the door from her hand as she was scurrying out of her car to get a sandwich. And the thing that stopped it: my husband’s door. But that’s no excuse for what she said next.
“I didn’t hit it hard enough to leave a dent,” she shrugged. And then, she walked away.
No, I’m sorry. No, I can’t believe I just did that. No, I didn’t mean to hit you. Nothing.
Irritated, David repeated the story to me when he delivered my 6 inch tuna Saturday afternoon. I asked him to drive to the subway shop across the street to get us grub since I didn’t feel like making lunch.
“How would she know she didn’t leave a dent,” he grumbled. “She didn’t even look at it.”
I agreed. I was stunned at the stranger’s reaction to the situation. If it had happened to me, I would have been stumbling all over myself to say I’m sorry.
I would also hold the door for a struggling mother trying to maneuver in the mall with two toddlers in a stroller while holding the hand of her third child. I was in the parking lot several yards behind her and knew the guy two steps in front of her would hold the door.
He didn’t. The door slammed a second before she could reach it.
Waiting in line at the store this evening to buy groceries, I watched as the man in front of me hefted 6 or 7 frozen pizzas from the bottom of his cart onto the conveyor belt. Those pizzas were the last of a lot of food. He bought so much, he filled an entire 2 carts. I don’t even want to know how much this man paid for all those groceries.
It was probably 10 minutes later when I was paying for my food that I realized the man’s pizzas were still in the store and he wasn’t.
“Are those that guy’s pizzas,” I asked the teenager who bagged them.
“Yeah,” he casually replied. “I saw him leave them. He’ll be back.”
“That guy bought 2 carts of groceries,” I said, “He won’t even know he’s missing them until he gets home.”
“Oh. I guess that’s his problem,” he said.
That statement just about sums it up, doesn’t it? There’s an ‘it’s not my problem’ mentality that’s infecting our society.
It’s not my problem you forgot your food. It’s not my problem the door slammed in your face. It’s not my problem the wind dinged your door.
It’s. Not. My. Problem.
Here’s the thing: it is a problem.
It’s a problem empathy for others is fading. It’s a problem consideration for others is waning. It’s a problem compassion for others is dissolving.
‘It’s not my problem,’ is a problem. A serious one.