Un-Common Sense

People start lining up in my kid’s school line for pickup around 30 minutes before school gets out. I like that time, parked in line because I can just chill and listen to podcasts or scroll social media or read and not feel like I should be cleaning or mowing the grass. Obviously I’m not the only one because there are plenty of us who line up that early.

The thing is, there’s a house right at the edge of the property and whenever I time my arrival to end up having to park right in front of their driveway, I leave a space so they can get in/out. To me? This is common sense. But most of the people do NOT do this. As a matter of fact, a few times I’ve had people swerve into that spot I’ve left, like maybe I’m not actually moving with the line that is frozen until 3pm.

Now, I don’t think all of these people are cruel or selfish by blocking this person’s driveway. Some many not know how the carline works and may not know how long we’re all parked there. Some may have information about the owner’s schedule I don’t have and so they don’t mind blocking the driveway. (I have seen people come/go from there before, but it’s not often.) The truth of the matter is, I simply think that it’s not “common sense” to a lot of people. I think what one person calls “common sense” – someone else does not.

I rode my trike for the first time since last summer a few weeks ago. I told my husband it was harder than I remember and he said, “Well – you did put air in the tires, right? It’s been sitting in the garage all winter, it definitely needed air.”

I squeeze the tires and YEP. I had been riding on flat tires. NO WONDER IT HAD BEEN SO DIFFICULT.

Donnie was shaking his head about my mistake in the same way I shake my head watching people block that person’s driveway.

I mean, it seems like common sense to put air in tires after 6 months of no use, but it obviously wasn’t for me.

Sometimes I notice these things in my “common courtesy” functioning center. To me, because I’m an empath, there are things that I feel like are common courtesies that never cross the mind of other people. Like, not leaving my buggy in front of the door at Target. I always put mine back in the line of other buggies if I don’t need it to go out to the car. But obviously this is not programmed into the brain of others as I’ll see 4-5 just left haphazardly around the exit on any given busy Saturday.

Sometimes these things are just not on people’s radars because they don’t know how certain things work. For example, people who leave their buggies in the hatch marks next to a handicapped spot. Now, I never did that because I’d take the buggy back inside before I’d leave it outside a bin (see former “empath” note) but I never knew those spots were there to allow for the proper in/out of the handicapped person until I had to drive around a less-than able-bodied person.

Or people who flush the toilet with their shoes in public restrooms, not taking into consideration people who HAVE to use their hands on that same handle because they maybe aren’t able to kick their leg up that high, or even kick it up at all. If you aren’t aware how other people live because it’s not your perspective, then things are not on your radar.

This is just something I think about a lot, especially as someone who always tries to give people the benefit of the doubt. Things that seem to be expected behaviors aren’t to others and I try to find a good reason why, other than: WHAT AN ASSHAT. And other times I feel like the idiot like the day I discovered that people clean their ovens. “Wait. I’m supposed to clean my oven? I’m 43 and never cleaned an oven.”

(For the record, I still have never cleaned an oven.)

I think it’s a good filter before, “WHAT AN ASSHAT!” to stop and figure out if there’s a way that the “common sense” thing we’re considering may be uncommon to others, and it’s also good to notice it in ourselves so we have perspective when other people fail and doing/knowing the things we believe are common sense.

One Comment

  • Hillary

    I try very hard to always put myself in other people’s shoes and to assume the best about their actions, rather than the worst. I think it makes the world a kinder, friendlier and more positive place. A long time ago I read something by the Dalai Lama that basically said (and I’m going to mangle this) if you go through life putting out anger and suspicion, you are likely to get that in return. But if you assume the best of people, for the most part, you will find that is what you get back from them. He said it better because he is the Dalai Lama. But it really stuck with me.

    I do, of course, still sometimes default to “What an asshat.” I’m not perfect. And some people are asshats. But as a general life philosophy, I’m with you on this one. 🙂