Not long ago, I was riding with one of my really good friends to the gym and when we got there it was packed. We were driving around, driving around, driving around & could not find a spot anywhere except in the very back of the parking lot, but the handicap spots were open. "I'm just gonna go park in the handicap spot," she said.
She & I are very able walkers - for heaven's sake ... we were going to the gym! But yet in order to save steps & time, my sweet little friend was about to take a handicap spot. That's when it hit me, it's not only jerks who do that, but normal people who don't really know how important those handicap spots are.
Now don't get me wrong here, I know full well there are plenty of people with legal handicap stickers that are totally capable of walking and having a normal parking spot like the rest of us. I know that. But there are a lot of people who aren't.
We have two handicap people in our immediate family. My uncle had Polio and is left with twisted legs and forced to walk with braces and a cane. My cousin was born with Spina bifida and hasn't walked since she was a little girl - she's 40 now. Unfortunately, I understand the need for a handicap spot first hand.
With my cousin in a wheelchair, we need the extra space on the side of the car a handicap spot offers to get her in and out of the chair. We certainly can't get her in or out in a normal space.
My uncle on the other hand? Has not registered for a handicap sticker because he thinks some people need it more than he does. Usually, my mom goes to the grocery store for him because he can't make it all the way through, but yet he hasn't registered for a handicap sticker because he thinks other people need it more than he does.
And that my friends, is why if God has blessed you with a healthy body capable of walking to a normal parking spot, you should be grateful for it & never take the space of someone who wasn't given that blessing.
I know during the holidays and cold weather the parking lots get full and its not fun to be outside & it's so tempting to just pull into an empty handicap spot steps from the door but think about the old man who walks with a cane and would be outside in the cold much longer than you would be because he walks so slow, or the girl in a wheelchair who doesn't get to go out very often and when she does, needs to be able to get in and out of a car, and don't do it.
Be grateful for the gift of health and take a normal spot.