Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.

Rule #6: Return the Shopping Cart (Dad)

Some people think that returning the shopping cart to the front of the store or to the collection area is a waste of time. They would rather leave it precariously sitting in between two cars, propped up over a cement boundary, or just haphazardly rolled into an empty space.

Returning your cart to the designated cart stable is only a waste of time if you don’t care about who will follow you into that parking lot. By returning the carts, we help others to avoid dings on their cars, keep from taking up parking spaces with carts, and prevent a myriad of other accidents that could be caused by wild herds of shopping carts running rampant on a windy day.

A little extra effort and a small amount of time not only keep us from bringing about bad things but can also be a source of goodness for others. Imagine the relief that a store worker would have if they came out, ready to wander the parking lot in search of wayward carts, only to see them all in the place where they belong.

I have also seen senior citizens arrive at the store to an empty cart area and have to rely on others to retrieve carts for them. Seriously, don’t make your grandma go chase shopping carts in the parking lot

Applied too to such acts as refilling the ice tray, clearing your dishes, or replacing the toilet paper, thinking of those who will follow and responding with care instills a little kindness into the world, and maybe others will pass it along.

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