Neat Little Boxes

The parking lot at the park we frequent is quite small. This morning, a truck was parked halfway on the grass. The guy who takes care of the park marched around asking all the parents if it was their truck. I was glad it wasn’t mine because I hate confrontation and feel especially vulnerable when my kids are around. When he found the owner he barked, “Don’t park on the grass. Move your truck.” He was clearly peeved.

The truck owner said in an equally peeved tone, “That’s fine, but you could ask a little nicer.” He was right.

The park guy said, “I said please.” Maybe he did but I didn’t hear him.

The truck guy said, “It’s a big truck and I was trying to leave room for other cars. I thought I was doing a good thing.” It was one of those huge diesel trucks that you can hear coming from miles away.

The park guy again, “Just don’t park on the grass.”

Watching this exchange created a dilemma for me. I love to categorize people. It comforts me to put people in nice little boxes – friendly, rude, aggressive, push-over, etc and my favorite – good people and bad people. I couldn’t figure out which box these guys belonged in.

I should put myself in the “judgy” box.

Sone people don’t end up in my boxes . . . the people that I love. Love brings them into the light. I see that they are complex, beautiful souls and can’t be neatly categorized.

Hmmmm, maybe we are all complex, beautiful souls that can’t be neatly categorized????!!!!

PEOPLE ARE BUSTING OUT OF MY BOXES ALL THE TIME. Thank God because I am wrong 100% of the time.

I’m doing myself a huge injustice when I isolate others by putting them in boxes. I am building walls rather than bridges between us. We are all sometimes friendly, rude, aggressive, push-overs. Sometimes we act good and sometimes we don’t. We’re human.

The parent was right, the park guy could have asked nicer. Parenting is hard. This guy had two little kids with him. He had to gather them up, drag them across the parking lot and load them into the car, just to move it a couple of feet. There are no simple tasks as a parent.

The park guy was right, the parent shouldn’t have parked on the grass. The park guy is always there, moving the sprinklers and fertilizing the grass. He takes good care of the park. He works hard. You wouldn’t know this unless, like us, you go almost everyday.

It was a quick exchange. They were two people who didn’t understand each other in the moment. That’s it. They acted bad and good and right and wrong.

I couldn’t figure out which box to put them in. 

I’m done with boxes.


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