8.30.2006

Did You Just See That?



When I arrived at the hospital today, I began my climb through the parking garage. This process can take up to ten minutes. The aisle is narrow, there are not enough spaces, and people drive way too fast. As I crept to the fifth level, I saw something that caused my jaw to drop:

A Hummer.
Parked in Compact Cars Only parking.
A Hummer.

To the invisible person that I am convinced travels with me wherever I go and listens to all of my witty banter and "social commentary", I yelled,
"Seriously??!?!?!? Seriously?!?!?! A Hummer?"

I considered leaving a note. It would have said, "You seriously parked your HUMMER in COMPACT CARS parking????"

Then I realized that I parked my Toureg in Compact Cars parking on Monday.
Somehow I felt justified since I HAVE been driving compact cars until a few months ago.

Still, I chose not to leave the note. But really, a Hummer? It just seems a little too obvious. If your car was built to crunch the enemy on a war front, Compact Car Parking most likely was not intended for your use.

And maybe that's the point. Sometimes, the obvious completely passes us over. We are unaware of the world around us. We forget we are not the only people here.

Over and over again during my employee reviews two years ago, I was told to increase my awareness. I would have if I understood what this meant at the time. I was so unaware I was not even aware of how unaware I was. But time and time again, I make the wrong joke at the wrong time, escalate the wrong situation, take more than my fair share of time in the bathroom, take more than my fair share of time off the floor with my client, take more than my fair share of time doing paperwork, being late again and again . . . the list goes on.

Working in a treatment center, overseeing 20 adolescent boys, and functioning on a team of five people required awareness. And I had none. It was a hard year. People didn't like me very much.

Being married to another human being that has needs that are different than mine requires even more awareness. I have just a little bit. It has been a hard year.

Herb has taught be a lot about awareness. He has an incredible sense of this thing. He is able to consider others without sacrificing himself or pushing into the "People Pleasing" arena. It is amazing to me. I, on the other hand, am capable of eating up an hour of a person's day chitty chatting without considering they might have some work to do.

And the worst part? I have always written this unawareness off in the name of being a free spirit. Or I blame it on being ditzy. I weasel out of it with my "charm". I figure since I didn't intend to do the harm, I shouldn't be held responsible or accountable.

The reality? It is selfish. The reason I am not aware of others is because I am so busy being aware of me.

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3 Comments:

Blogger travis said...

I very rarley, almost never give feedback to peoples' issue that they talk about on their site(s). I cringe at the thought of giving a "Christian answer" or "wise principle" that I heard somewhere. But, I feel compelled to recommend that you pray for God to increase your discernment. I started doing this some years ago and was suprised by what began to happen.
Thanks for your posts.

8:21 AM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger Kelli Gambee said...

Are you in my head?

3:47 PM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger peanutgallery said...

Hmm.... every parking spot downtown has a For Compact Cars Only sign on it.... so I cuddle my little extra in every time! I like to think I am helping them become more aware of others.

11:11 AM, September 01, 2006  

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