Life Teachings by a Shopping Trolley
I needed an office shelf so I drove to the Swedish Furniture Giant. Loaded with “FJÄLKINGE” and 38 “things” one buys aside, I went back my car finding it boxed in by trolleys.
Why don’t people return their shopping trolleys? Shouldn’t this be a simple act of courtesy? What are possible reasons?
There are social norms we accept based on how others think of us or we mimic reactions to experience how it feels acting in a certain way. To the contrary, we have self serving goals which might serve a good reason or simply our convenience. And while there will be always people acting against social norm for the sake of doing so, our behaviours can have an impact on overall society. If nobody returns their shopping trolley, we’ll end up having chaos at the parking lot.
If we give ourselves permission to oppose a social norm we are setting an example and if more people follow that example (as they see it) we might shift the balance with greater impact for social order in the long run.
Thoughtfully I start the engine, realising somebody put an advertising leaflet under my windscreen wiper. Keep it, or throw it on the parking lot?