‘It’s Not My Problem’ Is The Problem.

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.

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9 Responses to “‘It’s Not My Problem’ Is The Problem.”

  1. Laurie Lightfoot says:

    You are so right, people are becoming rude, ignorant and very selfish. Empathy, consideration, and compassion is needed! Start thinking of others!

  2. Samantha says:

    I agree with you that we need to get out of our own bubbles every now and then, and realize just now interdependent we really are. I blogged about my own “Its not MY problem” moment in January http://azjensens.blogspot.com/2010/01/another-year-older-but-are-we-wiser.html here, and can share your feeling of outrage and dismay. What ARE we coming to?
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..It’s the most… wonderful….time… of the year =-.

  3. Emily says:

    What rubbish people to meet, hopefully it was just a coincidence and you will meet only lovely people today, here’s hoping anyway!
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..We are going to the Zoo =-.

  4. lisa says:

    Well said! Although I can’t say I’ve encountered such a blatant lack of courtesy and complete apathy in a long time…perhaps there’s truth to the stereotype that Canadians are very polite after all!
    .-= lisa´s last blog ..Brunch At Birks With Jennifer Heil =-.

  5. Nina says:

    You are so right. That’s why it always amazes me when someone IS nice to me; holding a day, offering to help me carry an awkward load; giving up a seat so I can sit down.

  6. Emily says:

    I don’t think you could have said it better Tasha. Common decency is gone. Having taught high school for the last 10 years, I have witnesses (before my very eyes) the changes in our youth alone…the sense of entitlement that pervades our society. “It’s not my problem” pretty much sums it up…oh, and along with “what’s in it for me?”

    It’s becoming a sad world in which to raise kids. 🙁

  7. I’m with you, Tasha. 100%. I wonder all the time about the growing civility gap that I so often witness. What is its cause? An obsession with technology that makes us tune out the people around us? Economic frustration spilling over into interpersonal relations? Simple bad examples being set by adults?
    .-= Kristen @ Motherese´s last blog ..Not a Boy and Not a Man =-.

  8. Kelsey says:

    I agree. It is so frustrating & depressing to see how much of this attitude is tolerated.
    I have to give credit that commercial that starts with someone helping someone and it gets passed on from person to person. We need more of that mentality. Great Blog.

  9. Corinne says:

    It always shocks and amazes me at the disregard people hold for others.
    It makes me batty. And it makes me want to be extra nice to everyone, even though at times it feels like a lost cause.
    .-= Corinne´s last blog ..Work in Progress… MOVING!!! =-.