Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Two kinds of people
Every time I think of the expression “there are two kinds of people in the world” (or some derivative) I always think of this example. There are three kinds of people in the world; those who understand statistics, and those who don’t.
Today is about one of those “two kinds” instances. There are two kinds of people in the world; those who park in your driveway, and those who don’t.
Some people roll up to your home, see that long strip of gravel or pavement, and immediately think “Man, my car would look AWESOME there.” Others instinctively find someplace on the street. What’s the difference? Consideration.
The driveway parker may not think at all before he pulls in. There might also be a relatively length process where he judges that parking in the driveway is okay. Maybe it’s a double driveway, and he’ll be leaving a spot. Or the family car’s already there. Or the car’s gone, and he believes it’ll be a while before it comes back. With a garage he’s operating without some crucial information, but he trusts that all will be well if he takes up that driveway. And of course he’s right. Very few deaths are caused in the average year due to driveway-occupation. It’s not a matter of emergency, tragedy or real pain. It’s about consideration.
That’s basically the willingness to inconvenience yourself for the benefit of others combined with the ability to perceive times when that might be handy, kind, or necessary. The driveway parker doesn’t believe in that. He blithely assumes that there is nothing more important in your immediate existence then his visit. No one will need to use your car while he’s there, or need to get into the garage, either. HE’S there. All other activity will cease. He wants to be able to save himself fifteen or twenty steps, and damn the cost! Consciously or unconsciously, he’s being an inconsiderate jerk.
What about times when he just has to drop something off and he leaves the car running? Still inconsiderate. Not only is he blocking your driveway, he’s increasing the local concentration of carbon monoxide on your property, potentially putting the lives of everyone you know at risk. Not to mention the disservice he’s doing for the environment! Leaving your car running... why don’t you just run an oil tanker into the rocks off the coasts of Labrador?
The street parker, on the other hand, puts your needs first. He doesn’t know what frantic shopper is about to burst from the home, intent on a mall trip RIGHT NOW. There might be a doctor appointment someone’s late for, or a hot date. Maybe someone is expected to arrive after driving nonstop from Lynn Lake, and their need to get to the bathroom cannot be overstated. Wouldn’t such a person be within their rights to tear the head off anyone who stood in their way?
Depending on the day, each person might be a street or a driveway parker. Everyone has good and bad moments, and each person rates the acceptability of a driveway park differently depending on circumstances. (Don't fool yourself, it's never acceptable.) The point is this: if you park in someone’s driveway without specifically being told to do so, you are a jerk. So do better tomorrow, or better yet, just choose the curb. Come on, admit it, those flabby legs could use the exercise.