“I don’t know a single successful person that leaves their shopping cart in the middle of a parking lot.” Deb Sofield
About a year and a half ago I wrote a post called "Make America Great Again." It was right at the tail end of the Presidential elections and about a trip I made to the grocery store on the eve of Hurricane Matthew.
The story was a lesson in teaching my then, four year old son the importance of putting your shopping cart back.
"As I unloaded the groceries and took my son out of the cart, I grabbed him by the hand and told him I wanted to teach him something.
We walked together putting the grocery cart back into the return area. I told him, “I don’t want you to forget this. Champions aren’t lazy. Champions are respectful. Champions always put their carts back where they belong.”
Returning to the car, I showed him all the carts that had been left in the parking lot. I said, “It’s okay that some people choose not to put them back, but we always do."
Yesterday, I got to reiterate this lesson at another level. My daughters and I were at the store preparing for the Super Bowl. As you can imagine, the parking lot was full and we parked nearly at the end.
As we came out of the store it was pouring. We made a run for the car and unloaded the groceries. It would have been really easy to leave the cart right by the car and jump in, but I couldn't do it. " Champions aren’t lazy. Champions are respectful. Champions always put their carts back where they belong.”
I apologized to my daughters and told them we all had to take it back. That even when the circumstances are ideal, when the rain is pouring down, it's still important to do what is right.
Much to their apprehension, we ran for it and put the cart back.
In the car, soaked, I asked them why we did that. My daughter said, "Champions put their carts back."
Putting your cart back is a simple way to express respect, character, and choosing to do the right thing.
It's choosing to have respect for yourself and others. It's choosing to do it the right way, not the easy way. It's understanding that these little decision are what make up your character. And your character is the backbone of true greatness.