Why are we so obsessed with parking as close as possible to our destinations?
I was walking to school to pick up my daughter last week when a bin lorry was trying to get down the road but it couldn’t get past the parked cars. When you stop and consider that a fire engine is around the same width as the bin lorry and this is the only road onto the estate, this all becomes frightening very quickly.
At the school that my other daughter attends, some parents drive into a staff car park and then reverse out onto the road at a time when there are around 150 children running around and crossing that car park entrance. I regularly see children running across the car park entrance without looking to see if there are cars coming and recently the school sent home a letter asking parents not to use the staff car park for dropping off but sadly people still do.
We need to drive to this school, but we choose to park in a nearby car park that is a whole 0.2 miles away and parking there adds a whole 4 minutes to our school journey. There is a lollipop lady where we have to cross the main road, so it is a fairly safe walk and when you think about it, it’s definitely safer than walking across an entrance which regularly has cars reversing out of it.
Where we park, there is a play area and sometimes parents drive their children around from the overcrowded parking area at the school to the large and more or less empty car park. We can even walk there quicker than people can drive around.
Why do people do park dangerously when there are safe parking places just a few minutes away? Sometimes it is to do with a simple lack of thought, that it may not have occurred to people that they have other options for a parking places. However, I think the real reason is that most of us are always in a rush and we don’t think we have time to park and walk a little way.
As we approach parking and indeed the whole of life we need to consider if we want to e selfless or selfish? Is our dominant thought what suits us or what benefits the community as a whole?
Most days my daughter asks if we can park outside of the school, but I also think that the walk does her (and me!) good as we get some fresh air before starting the day. I feel like a mean parent when I say we aren’t parking by the school but that we are going to park and walk, but some lessons are worth instilling into our children.
How will we live our lives, selflessly or selfishly?
Jesus taught us that we need to treat others the way we want to be treated and when we live with this as one of our guiding principles then our lives will look radically different.