I feel like a lot of people go through life seeing things as they are, not realizing that things can change. Let me give you an example.
Recently, I helped a friend and her fiancee move. They live in a large apartment complex which has covered parking for the tenants and uncovered spaces for visitors.
As it happened, the apartment complex was having the parking lots resurfaced the same week my friends were moving out. Part of the parking lot was blocked off by barricades, and all the residents filled up the empty visitor spots.
We had gone out for some food and when we returned, there were NO parking spaces to be had anywhere. People were circling the lot, parked in the fire lane, and other desperate measures.
So what did I do? I simply moved the barricades aside and parked my car in the freshly resurfaced lot. I evaluated the situation in my head and decided this was a good idea because:
1. There were no designated visitor spots available
2. Parking in the fire lane seemed like a bad idea
3. The blocked-off lot had already been repaved and was dry
4. It was 9 o’clock at night and I would only be staying a few more hours
5. My car would be long gone before the workers returned the next morning to paint the lines
6. I figured the chances of anyone calling a tow truck on me at night were low
It took just seconds for this to run through my head, and I moved the barrier aside and parked my car. When I left a few hours later, I moved the barricade back where I found it. No harm was done and I had a place to park. It seemed like a simple and brilliant solution to me.
What startled me was the reaction from my friends. They couldn’t believe I had parked there. They had not crossed over the barricades or inspected the new pavement, but insisted that my car would leave tire tracks (it did not). They were afraid I would get towed while I wasn’t the least bit concerned.
That night, everyone at the apartment complex saw the barricades and all of the available parking on the other side and did nothing about it. That tells me that people often times go through life seeing things as they are and not imagining anything could ever be different.
Now I’m not saying it is always okay to bend the rules for personal gain – that’s not the case at all. In this specific situation, I made a decision to change my circumstances instead of just accepting things the way they were. I feel it was the right decision, and I was surprised that more people hadn’t chosen to make their own fortunes better. I guess that’s the difference between myself and everyone else.