Ethics

For the week ending 24 May 2008 / 19 Iyyar 5768

Parking and the Golden Rule

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: One of the greatest challenges I find as a driver is finding a parking space in a crowded area. It sometimes forces me to park in a spot that will make it very difficult for the fellow whose car is parked behind me to get out if he comes to do so before I get back. Since I don't expect to be long I am tempted to block the other fellow on the gamble that I will be gone before he returns. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: In all such matters you must act according to the "golden rule" of the Sage Hillel — "Don't do to others what is hateful to you." Just consider how you would feel if you came back to your car only to find yourself blocked by a driver who gambled that he would get back before you!

Thinking about the other guy is certainly not limited to parking. When you are in a hurry to get someplace and you cut off the car ahead of you in order to make that important turn, first reflect on how you would feel if someone did that to you.

Hillel's golden rule, which spells out the practical application of "Love the other as yourself" should guide you in every aspect of your life.

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