This question about your GROCERY STORE CART turns out to be quite telling — about what kind of person you are….your personality….your stress level….your basic goodness. Really? Well, at least some of that is true. If you’ve read my book, YOUR PERSONAL STRESS ANALYSIS, you’re way ahead on looking at your own personality traits and what you need to do to at least feel better. But I digress!
Perhaps you saw a recent video of a woman who after loading groceries into the back of her suburban in pouring down, body drenching rain and winds blowing wildly, carefully rolls her grocery cart — IN THE STORM — back to the assigned area for empty carts! AND she hadn’t even closed the back of her suburban. I’m consequently guessing her groceries, AND her vehicle got a bit damp. What’s the point?
RESEARCH, although I can’t find the actual source for this information, apparently suggests this amazing behavior tells us that this woman is a great, and a caring, and a responsible human being. She is in fact the very kind of person you need both as a friend, AND the kind of person you need to be yourself, or are aspiring to be. I’m exaggerating a bit, however, I do agree that what YOU DO with your grocery cart once you empty it into your vehicle says a great deal about you…..
Your possible choices: Pick the one most characteristic of you….
1) I ALWAYS RETURN MY CART AND it does not CROSS MY MIND TO NOT DO SO
2) I ALWAYS RETURN MY CART EVEN ON THOSE DAYS I THINK ABOUT NOT DOING SO
3) MOST OF THE TIME I return my cart unless I’m stressed, cranky, and late for whatever is next
4) I TIP A GREAT YOUNG PERSON to help me with my groceries so he/she returns the cart….this by the way still gets the cart back where it belongs!
5) I RETURN MY CART UNLESS NO ONE IS LOOKING, THEN LEAVE IT
6) I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS EXPECTED TO TAKE THE CART BACK…REALLY, I DIDN’T
7) I APPRECIATE A BIT OF A SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT THESE CHOICES
So realistically, what does grocery cart behavior actually say about us? A lot I’m guessing — even though I’ve not found the actual research yet…. Clearly whether you and I take a grocery cart back says a great deal about our schedules and our stress level. If there’s not enough time for that pretty simple activity, life is clearly a little less manageable than you want it to be….and if describes you, slow down, for sure!
Beyond that, I do think it’s suggestive….put that in quotes …. of the ability to start a task and see it through all the way to the end. And that can even include whether or not you put everything away once you get to your kitchen… well, the refrigerator items for sure…what about all the rest? It’s also about how thoughtful you are. And if you’ve ever had a scratch or minor dent in your car from a randomly rolling around grocery cart, you understand that one. You know your behavior, your choices, in the parking lot, the office, where ever you are, impacts others.
But even beyond all those thoughts — how conscious are you of how your behavior impacts others? I think the simple grocery cart question truly gives you an idea to explore. If you miss how this basic behavior/task potentially impacts others — and on many levels — it’s just possible that you aren’t as clear as you need to be about the multiplier impact of ALL the things you say and do in day to day life. We are a busy, stressed society right now… and everything we say/do….from the cart return to the far too casual insult in either speech or behavior … speaks to who we are, and certainly impacts the way others see us and respond to us…. we do need to be as considerate and cooperative and communicative as possible… even when stressed and angry.
So if even the suggestion of needing to “be better” stresses or annoys, or possibly even generates some anger, pay attention. I’m truly not trying to tell you what to do…. but I am suggesting the “reflection” on grocery cart behavior says a lot about who we are….right down to the core of our being. And if reading this stresses you, remember my book YOUR PERSONAL STRESS ANALYSIS is available…. and as always, you deserve to feel as good as you possibly can… so if you need to talk to someone, or ask questions, you can always contact me. Take care and take your cart back!