We had about forty minutes before the movie was to start. I decided to pop into a store to pick up a gift. I screwed up my courage and headed in. These days shopping is a real hazard because of all the extra merchandise in the stores, I have to be very careful to avoid displays, the extra volume of shoppers and aisles suddenly made too narrow for me to pass. But, I wanted to get the gift, so I had to shop for it.
As it turned out it was on the second floor of the store. I went over to the elevator only to find that they had placed several tables of Christmas cards right in the area in front of the lift. I spoke to a clerk about getting upstairs. She looked at a very narrow space and said, "Oh, isn't that wide enough?" I said, "No," while watching a woman with a small stroller turn back not even attempting to get through.
The clerk, grudgingly, moved some of the tables, making just exactly enough space. I mentioned to her that blocking the elevator was really bad planning. She said, and I'm quoting here, "I'm not responsible for where they put stuff."
I stopped and stared at her.
She glared back.
I didn't move.
She began to look uncomfortable.
"What?" she asked.
"I get that you don't own the store, I get that you don't have the power to make decisions about what goes where, I do."
"Well, I don't."
"I know that, but you do have the ability to carry the message forward. You now see a problem, you don't just get to pretend it has nothing to do with you."
"It does. Your silence is simply acceptance of something that you know is wrong. I don't expect you to fix it, I do expect that you mention it, that you take it forward. I shouldn't even have to ask."
I managed to get upstairs, I managed to find what I was looking for, but with the delay with the elevator and the painfully slow way past barrier after barrier, I was unable to pay for the purchase. I'd miss the beginning of the movie. I hate missing the beginnings of movies.
It's expecting too much, I suppose for someone to care. To take some action. The idea that "I can't do anything about it" is simply a cop out. It presumes that inaction is a reasonable response to a problem or a barrier. All she needed to do was say, "I have little power here but I'll use what I have to talk to the manager about the needless barrier."
Even if the manager doesn't listen.
Even if nothing changes.
Action is better than inaction.
Caring is better than apathy.
Losing is better than acquiescence.
Doing damns the darkness.