I was totally caught off guard and rolled down my window to say, "Excuse me?" She repeated. So, I apologized and said I thought it was a 15 minute parking space. Said I would never intentionally take a handicapped spot. She didn't look like she believed me.
When I pulled out, it was confirmed: I was NOT in a handicapped spot, but rather a 15 minute space...the same one I almost always park in. I moved to a new space and another equally non-handicapped person took mine. It was so tempting to defend myself once I got inside the store. My boys were insistent that I "tell that lady." But I didn't.
I saw that she did have difficulty walking and thought about how it probably is really frustrating when she can't get a spot close to the door, because someone parked in the handicapped spaces out of convenience, not need. It probably happens a lot. I get it.
However, the lesson here is that our own issues and frustrations can skew reality. They cause us to react to things that aren't even real...we see through our own set of lenses, not realizing they are a little smudged. We see disrespect and violation where it isn't. Or we interpret things from our own perspective, not realizing there are other equally legitimate viewpoints.
And on the flip side, perhaps we can give mercy to the over-reactors, realizing they have issues of their own...whether they know it or not. Most people mean well. Honestly, we are probably all the over-reactors at one time or another. We just need a clean pair of glasses with a side of understanding.