I was at Target a few weeks ago and watched someone go out of their way to push a shopping cart onto the median divider instead of walking it (literally) ten feet to the closest shopping cart corral (you know, that thing where the shopping carts are supposed to go). It might exceed the bounds of a “pet peeve,” but watching people leave shopping carts in parking lots leaves me feeling an equal mix of amazement , frustration and disappointment. At this point, I’m guessing (I know) that you fall into one of two categories.

If you’re one of these peopleI’m talking about, I forgive you, but please stop and read on.

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, prepare to read your new favorite quote below.


The paragraph below is the blog in a nutshell.

The shopping cart is the ultimate litmus test for whether a person is capable of self-governing. To return the shopping cart is an easy, convenient task and one which we all recognize as the correct, appropriate thing to do. To return the shopping cart is objectively right. There are no situations other than dire emergencies in which a person is not able to return their cart. Simultaneously, it is not illegal to abandon your shopping cart. Therefore the shopping cart presents itself as the apex example of whether a person will do what is right without being forced to do it. No one will punish you for not returning the shopping cart, no one will fine you or kill you for not returning the shopping cart, you gain nothing by returning the shopping cart. You must return the shopping cart out of the goodness of your own heart. You must return the shopping cart because it is the right thing to do. Because it is correct. A person who is unable to do this is no better than an animal, an absolute savage who can only be made to do what is right by threatening them a law and the force that stands behind it. The Shopping Cart is what determines whether a person is a good or bad member of society.

Glenn Danzig

I know, I know.

That might seem a little harsh, but hey, it’s true.

The shopping cart is about being a good citizen (the one rule from my high school track coach).

It’s about acting with integrity and leaving every single place just a little bit better than you found it. It’s about doing the right thing even when nobody is watching and especially when it’s a little inconvenient. It’s simply about doing the right thing because it’s the right thing and embracing the concept that how you do anything is how you do everything. It’s about being a good person and the world needs more of those.


Let me leave you with a simple challenge: the next time that you’re at the grocery store, put your cart back. If you’re the type of person who always puts their cart back, take it a step further and put a stray cart back as well. Whatever you do going forward, whether it’s with shopping carts in a parking lot, holding a door for a stranger or anything else, leave every place (and person) just a little bit better than you found it… even if that means picking up someone else’s trash.

To leave the world better than you found it, sometimes you have to pick up other people’s trash.

Bill Nye

Be a good person.

Joe Rinaldi

IG: @joearinaldi

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  1. What about the person who is hired to bring all shopping carts back to the rack. If we bring the carts back that person will be out of a job, Now what? Your view of what is right will impact the cart returner. Will he/she be able to pay his rent and buy food for his family? Look what you are causing now he/she will need tp file for unemployment benefits and my taxes will increase, Can’t you stick to physical therapy…..

    Uncle Peter

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