Judged by the way you deal with a ‘trolley cart’

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Ahmed-Al-Sarraf

The majority of us behave politely and civilized in developed countries, and we do the opposite in our countries or in societies similar to ours in backwardness, whether with regard to etiquette or principles, or in following traffic rules and regulations, and the requirements for fitness and safety in driving and punctuality, or behaving roughly in restaurants and theaters.

The strange thing is that all of this changes completely within hours, which is the time it takes to move from a backward society to an advanced one, where we often suddenly become kinder to others, and to those who serve us, and generous in using the words “thank you” and “please” and other compliments.

The way we behave with the “shopping cart,” after emptying it, is an indication of our awareness of society’s rights over us. Many people often do not bother to return them to their collection points, but instead leave them in the parking lot.

Therefore, the morals of an individual can be judged by the way he deals with the trolley cart, and in a better way than any psychological test or the opinion of a cleric, especially in the absence of a law prohibiting leaving it anywhere, in addition to the effort it takes to search for a place to place the trolleys, especially after a tiring and arduous day of shopping during extreme temperatures.

Psychologist Tati Silva says that the shopping cart theory makes some valid points, as it comes down to the personality of the individual.

Personality is shaped by genetics and the environment in which one is born, raised and educated, among other things, such as a commitment to honesty, virtue and kindness, which can be observed over time and through different situations.

She said that personality is strongly influenced by the different situations in which we participate, so if a person chooses not to put the shopping cart back in its place, this will reveal his personality, and he is somewhat excused for not having a law that forces him to put it in its place, and this behavior will continue, because it is the individual who needs to determine what is right and what is wrong, bad or good, especially in the absence of social norms or rules that determine the rightness of this behavior or not.

Silva also believes that the shopping cart theory can be expanded to include other behaviors as well, such as throwing garbage, cigarette butts, chewing gum, used face masks or gloves in the wrong places, even laughing sarcastically when someone falls on the ground, or not caring about holding the door for others.

These are considered matters that reveal an individual’s personality, morals, and upbringing. One of us may not perform these actions, because they were never part of our habits. However, this can be changed by expanding self-awareness. An example of a debatable moral dilemma that defines many psychopathic traits is the example of the “sliding truck.”

If we assume that a truck is moving along the road without a driver, and is about to run over and kill five people, and you happen to be standing on a pedestrian bridge and because your body is very light, it is impossible for you to stop the truck, even if you throw yourself under its wheels, then if you push a huge stranger in the path of the truck may be it will inevitably stop the truck, but it will be like sacrificing one man to save the lives of others. If it was ‘you’ would you sacrifice the man?

The answers, published in the journal Cognition, showed that people who answered “yes” scored higher on measures of psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and meaninglessness in life, compared to those who chose not to sacrifice the innocent man.

In conclusion, it is wonderful and logical for us to be human beings committed to etiquette and law, in the presence of others and the law, and more importantly in their absence !

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