18 September 2007

Handicap Sticker

My ethical standards have degraded to a large degree lately and I am not sorry for it, really. Ok, so maybe I'm a little bit sorry for it. It's guilt, but it's not the kind of guilt that's motivating me to change. It's just caused me to think about it...and not change.

Here's the deal. I have a handicap sticker...illegitimately. I am pretty sure there is someone in my family who has this legitimately, but somehow, because I have a car that is owned by the family, I have access to a decal.

Since parking in Provo is horrible (especially at BYU), sometimes I excuse myself and use it. It started this summer and it's gone on. At first, it was going to be a one-time thing. And then I started using it more and more, and justifying it more and more. And I thought, what's the big problem? It's not like faculty really NEED all of these spots they have. And I've gotten plenty of parking tickets on BYU campus (some of which haven't even been my fault), so I don't feel like paying again...but I do feel like parking closer to where I have class.

Today, I got a wake-up call in this department. Maybe it's God telling me that I'm wrong and need to start being more ethical...and not using something that I did nothing to deserve. It's not as if I steal handicap spots from people--actually, I never park in the handicap spots. Just faculty spots, and then I put up the handicap sticker so that I won't get a ticket.

This is wrong, I know. But is it really all that wrong? How many times do people have privileges that they don't deserve, anyway? Isn't that the definition of "privilege"? And the world is unfair, isn't it? Who am I to think otherwise?

Today, I was parking in the JKB faculty parking lot, right next to the Parking and Traffic Enforcement Office. There was even a girl ticketing in the lot. I saw her and she saw me, that was obvious. As I put up the handicap sticker, she turned around to tell me I couldn't park there (I presume), and then saw the sticker and said, "Oh, you're alright." (Or, more properly, "You're all right.") And I said, "Thanks." And headed to class.

But I was embarrassed, I'm not going to lie.

I do NOT have a respiratory condition, nor a cardiovascular disease, or any other "ambulatory" condition. I am not confined to a wheelchair. And I am not "blind." My knees sometimes pop when I walk and I get winded when I walk up the stairs south of campus, but that's my own fault. And I guess that means I am mocking people who actually have those disabilities. I'm not sure, but if I think of it that way, then I feel terrible. I'm really grateful to not have any of these conditions.

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