I want to share an interesting experience that happened today. I learned a valuable lesson, a concept I wished I grasped sooner.
Things are finally getting back to normal in sunny San Diego. I’m grateful to be vaccinated and starting to integrate back into daily activities (safely, of course!). We spent the afternoon at the Little Italy Farmer’s Market, one of my favorite activities and something I have missed greatly!
While looking for parking, my family and I circled a small parking lot for about 15 minutes. It was a one way street, clear arrows directing traffic to prevent people from going both ways and causing congestion. It also provided a place for people to queue and wait for parking as they circled. We were finally first in line and eager to get a parking space that just opened up near the front of the entrance. Another large SUV with two very young (and very entitled) girls nearly ran into us head on as they turned the opposite direction of traffic to try and score the recently opened parking space, cutting in front of not just us but about 4 other vehicles that were also politely waiting their turn.
Lucky for us, this lot was cleverly designed, and unless you’re going the correct way of traffic, the spots are difficult to pull into, which allowed us to finally secure our parking space. The two entitled young women proceeded to yell and swear at us for “stealing” their parking space, stating they were waiting for a half hour for it. (Impossible, as we waited 15 minutes behind two other vehicles, and there were 4 others right behind us on a narrow one way street.) It was annoying to say the least. My amazing wife smiled at them, explained how the parking lot worked, and that they would need to go the correct way to secure a spot for themselves.
They angrily drove off, yelling profanities.
My anxiety was triggered. I was annoyed that they were so entitled and chewed on the situation most of the afternoon. Typically I try to just be “water off a duck’s back”. Had I been driving, I likely would have just backed off, instead of advocating for what was right, losing the parking spot I fairly waited for.
I’ve done this most of my life. Waiting patiently, only to find someone else who was more daring, more entitled, more self-centered to take my parking spot or my hard earned place in line.
What I want others to take away from this is: STOP LETTING OTHER INDIVIDUALS TAKE WHAT YOU HAVE RIGHTFULLY EARNED! Hold your ground. Speak up. Allow yourself a measure of “entitlement”. Claim your space. Ask for your needs to be met. Point out to others if they are harming you or taking away something you’ve earned or waited for. It’s worth it to stand up for yourself so that you don’t lose out on things, because if you don’t, you’ll keep losing.
Trust me, if you’re reading this, and shaking your head in approval, by being slightly more entitled, you will not become like those girls today. Instead, you will be able to find more success and seize the “parking spot” you rightfully earned and waited for. There will ALWAYS be individuals that only think of themselves, that will always take your spot if you let them. They will never go away. So stand up for yourself. Be brave, even if it’s hard.
Be kind about it too. You don’t need to scream obscenities back, but a calm explanation (you go Rachel!) can go a long way. Perhaps they will learn their lesson in the future, perhaps not.
And if you see someone else being trampled on, stand up for them too.
My parking fiasco today was just a microcosm for the world at large. Every day I see individuals becoming more and more entitled, more individuals willing to hurt or put someone else’s lives at stake for their fragile comfort. For those of us that would normally allow ourselves to be walked all over, it’s time to stand up for ourselves, and for others. We can’t allow these people to always win, because they always will if no one stands up to them!
Oh, and if you girls are reading this. Traffic laws matter! (Even if you’re trying to score a parking spot.) AND you tried to steal a parking spot that a disabled woman and her elderly mother needed.