Yesterday I was driving around the mall marveling about how the parking lot appears to have been re-designed making it difficult to get out of. It is an access management thing that improves the safety of both the roads around the parking lot and the traffic inside the lot as people will no longer cut through the massive asphalt island. Of course it also has the effect of irritating drivers making them short-tempered. Being Halloween, there was a huge crowd at the mall there for trick or treating. Many of the irritated drivers had their children dressed in costumes just trying to get in and get out, before the big crowd that was already there got there. Both my wife and I experienced the road rage of someone behind us becoming upset that we weren't moving fast enough to suit them and had horns honking and tailgating, which caused me to think that it is a perfect case of others using the mentality that failure to plan on their part (to get their earlier) was an emergency for me (to move out of their way). This is a common "me first" mentality seen in many places lately.
Later in the evening, we went to a casino, where I again experienced the joy of a poorly laid out parking lot. This time, the one way aisles were intended to keep vehicles moving into the lot, and when leaving the lot made them move far enough into the lot before getting to an exit lane that the queue for the traffic light would not hinder flows through the lot. Much easier to demonstrate in a sketch or on the ground then describe in prose. Once inside, we were standing in line to eat at a buffet, this was a restaurant that required payment before you sit down and the line was moving rather slowly. While we were standing there I heard someone walk up to see why the line wasn't moving comment to their partner, "There's only one cashier. I can't believe they only have one cashier on a holiday." I don't know about you, but I didn't know that Halloween was a holiday. This again is an instance of someone thinking of themselves and their need to be served faster for whatever reason they can justify.
So, last night I twice experienced the joys of bad parking lot design, a real issue for a traffic and transportation engineer such as myself, and twice had the occasion to see the me first mentality that we have come to know and nearly accept in the United States. As a Christian we are told to turn the other cheek, I didn't get upset in either situation, though my love of my neighbor may not have been readily apparent to those around me (because it's hard to demonstrate in traffic). It is a response that is needed more and more in the present day.
On a sidenote, I did like the idea of yesterday as a holiday. It was the 21st anniversary of the day I met my young bride. While choosing to celebrate that is a personal event, hoping that it will one day become a holiday worthy of two cashiers would be self-serving. Instead I will simply say, Happy Anniversary and I love you to my wife. Not only did I marry way above my level, I don't know how she puts up with me either.