Yesterday I witnessed a blatant act of inconsideration. My daughter and I were eating lunch at the food court in the CNN building, and the table beside ours was occupied by several high school age girls. I didn't notice them leave, but I did notice the enormous pile of trash they left behind. And then I noticed a dejected CNN employee approach the table and begin to clear off the hamburger wrappers, half-eaten cartons of fries, and slurped-down soda cups.
"Did those girls really just leave all that trash for someone else to clean up?" I asked the woman.
"Happens all the time," she replied as she wiped down the table.
I wasn't okay with that. I made a lesson of it with my daughter, and the two of us made sure we left our table spotless.
Fast forward to today.
Today I wanted to be inconsiderate.
Not because I wanted to actually be inconsiderate; I just felt momentarily inconvenienced by the thought of doing the considerate thing. And so I wanted to do the thing that would have been inconsiderate.
I picked up an item at the grocery store, and then found a better price on a similar item at the opposite end of the store. I was a little stick-a-fork-in-me-I'm-done at the end of that grocery run, and the other end of the store seemed a million miles away. I reeeeally wanted to just stick the first item on some random shelf and head to the checkout lanes.
And then I remembered the inconsideration of those girls yesterday.
And I thought of that worker at CNN who had to clear away what they should have.
I knew if I didn't put that item away, someone would have to. Someone else would have to pick up that displaced item and return it to its rightful place.
I know that wouldn't have been the end of the world--but to me, it just would have felt like an inconsiderate thing to do.
Because CONSIDERation means considering others instead of just yourself. And, in stark contrast, inCONSIDERation means refusing to consider what your actions will mean to others.
So what does consideration look like? It's getting up with the baby so your spouse can rest. Inconsiderate is pretending you don't hear the baby so your spouse will have to get up. They're every bit as tired as you are.
Consideration means letting someone else have the best parking spot (why is this one SO hard for me?) because a mom with five kids or an older gentleman whose legs aren't working as well anymore might need it more than I do. Inconsideration is not even thinking someone else might be needing that close spot.
Consideration is rooted in humility--and inconsideration, in pride.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility CONSIDER others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others.
PHILIPPIANS 2:3-4* What does consideration look like for you in all your comings and goings today?