Today I went to Zellers to pick up a few things (I don't have a car anymore and no insurance, so my dad drove me). For those of you who aren't Canadian, you probably have never heard of Zellers. I believe that it is simply a Canadian version of K-Mart (though we used to have a K-Mart here too, it closed down several years ago).
Now, as we were leaving, a car pulls up into one of the parking spaces clearly marked off with a sign and a painted symbol on the pavement. It is definately a parking space for those who are handicapped (sorry if this isn't the right term to use, my appologies to all). This is a spot reserved for those who use a wheelchair or walker; those who have difficulty walking.
We drove slowly past and watched the driver put up the little card "thingy" that hangs from the rearview mirror. He was letting everyone know that it was "ok" for them to be there. As we continued to drive, shock of all shocks (NOT!) he got out and walked into the store. No wheelchair, no walker, no limp, no cruches...walked as good as anything.
What really irks me, is that those spots are specifically designed for those who can not walk, or have trouble in getting around. Out of 1000 parking spots, there are probably only 8-10 wheelchair spots. Now, I don't have any clue if these numbers are right, but you get my drift...there are a FAR greater amount of regular parking spaces compared to the wheelchair ones. I remember being with a couple of friends and going to the mall one day. The one driving says "It's not fair that there is so many parking spots for wheelchairs." I said "Oh yeah, look at how many regular parking spots there are in comparison and tell me now if you think there are too many spots for people in wheelchairs." That shut her up. She was just annoyed that she couldn't park as close to the door as she wanted...
Have people become so lazy that they can't walk the short distance...or even a long distance from their car to the store? We who can walk should be thanking God and praising Him that we can do this simple feat! But what can we do about this, short of placing an anonymous (or even signed) note on the windshield of the cars belonging to those who park in those spots when they shouldn't? A letter in the public opinion of the newspaper might get read by all, but I doubt that would do anything either. What can we do? Park where we should be parking, and not where we shouldn't be.
So, my post today is directed at those who park in parking spots they shouldn't be in. So what if you have one of those hangy things for your rearview mirror. If you do not have anyone in the car with you (and you can walk fine), or the person who is wheelchair bound STAYS in the car, you should NOT be taking up that space. You can walk. Go to a regular space. If you park there just because you are "only going to be a couple of minutes in the store", park in a REGULAR space. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out! What is so important about getting that first parking space? If it is a regluar spot, fine, go for it. But leave the wheelchair parking for those who need it!
Like I said, God gave us two feet and a heart beat...use them. Be thankful that you can walk. Just think of those who can't walk and would give almost anything to be able to do so. There are so many parking places we can park in, and so few that those who can't walk have. Don't take that away from them.
Remember, the Bible tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated. If you were in a wheelchair or using a walker, would you really want someone who wasn't in one parking in a place designated for you? I doubt it.