Every summer, for two months the carpark to the gym I go to is always uninhabitable. It is attached to a huge municipal park which has paddling pools, play areas, fun fairs, crazy golf, fields, and cafes. The carpark for that is the same as the carpark for the gym I go to. For two months every year it’s impossible to find a parking space.
I get frustrated and angry. It is irritating that I’m not able to do the thing I always do because a other people have taken over my territory. I feel entitled, like I own my right to it, and am dedicated to the carpark so therefore deserve to be able to use it whenever I like. But obviously I need to get over myself.
In this episode I talk about how easy it is to separate yourself from the impact of your actions.
I have come to recognise quite how hypocritical it is of me to blame others for inconveniencing me. And although it would be nice if there was some kind of contingency plan for those of us who want to carry on using the gym through the summer, I must recognise that I am also the person who will occasionally appear in places where others always go.
Going on holidays. Taking over Southampton as a student. Going to gigs, sporting events etc. Christmas shopping. Going for meals. Going somewhere for a party.
There are all sorts of times that I am a part of the inconvenience for other people who want to carry on doing what thy always do. It’s so important to remember that we are so often a part of whatever it is that we complain about.
‘You aren’t stuck in traffic. You are traffic.’
I can’t remember where I heard this quote or who said it, but it sums this up perfectly. As you sit in your car surrounded by other cars on the road and you are not going anywhere you will probably say that you are stuck in traffic. But the truth is no one sets out to be traffic. The other people in the other cars don’t see themselves as traffic anymore than you do.
It is easy to forget our little place in building the big picture. It’s easier to blame others for what we do, and build resentment of those people to whom we should be kind for they and everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle of their own.