This morning as I parked at my local beach, I went to put coins into the parking meter and noticed the payment system has changed. Now when you insert your credit card to pay, you’re required to enter your car’s registration number, which it then prints on the receipt slip you place in your car window.
It prompted me to contemplate why this additional requirement to enter your car’s number plate. Could it be a way of generating additional income? Having to nominate your car’s licence plate number on the parking slip means that no one can pass on their parking slip to anyone else to benefit from, should they decide to leave their parking space earlier than their paid for amount of time. To me this felt like an extreme lack of generosity of spirit on the part of the local Council that collects the parking revenue.
Not that long ago there were no parking limits to public parking on the streets. Anyone could park pretty much anywhere they wanted, provided it was safe. Then time limits were introduced, and then came the introduction of parking meters, whereby you put coins in the meter for the parking spot you were parked in, and if you left the spot before the meter ‘ran out’, then the next person who parked there would benefit from any time credit still left on the meter. Which was only fair given that the parking space had already been paid for for that allocated time. And then came the ticket dispensing machines where you paid for a period of time and then placed the dispensed ticket on the dash of the car for the parking inspector to check. And where there was still time paid for on your ticket, if you were feeling generous you would gift your ticket to another person to use, as you were leaving your parking spot.
But not any more. Now your ticket has to stay with your car and you cant pass it on to anyone else. Which means the local Councils get to double and triple dip when it comes to revenue raising as parking spaces get paid for over and over again for more time than is actually used.
But what have we lost as a result? Where has our generosity of spirit gone? All generosity of spirit has been taken away. No one can be generous hearted any more when it comes to the payment and use of parking spaces. No one can be mindful of their fellow neighbour in the passing on of the payment. And local Councils have lost sight of what they are really about. Fairness and community.
Given that ordinary people such as you and I make up our local Councils, it begs the question as to where we ourselves may have lost sight of our own generosity of spirit? Where have we become hardened in our hearts, too focused on money and the end gain, forgetting about our fellow community members as a result? Where are we more concerned about the dollar, or getting ahead in line, or short cutting the quality of what we provide because of a focus on the bucks instead of generosity of lending a helping hand?
Perhaps we would all benefit from pulling back a bit and reconnecting without hearts and adopting a more generous approach in the choices we make and the policies we set in motion. Maybe we could all afford to be a bit more generous minded with the people around us, in showing a greater level of understanding of eachother and sharing of the load. And maybe we could all afford to be a bit more generous spirited with our selves, being kinder and more gentle on ourselves and what it is we’re striving to achieve, rather than always pushing ourselves to work harder and achieve more.
Local Councillors can’t implement such ungenerous parking payment systems without us becoming complicit in the process and shutting off our hearts as we unconsciously punch in our number plate details to complete the deal. So next time you find yourself paying for that parking ticket, perhaps ask yourself ‘How can I now more deliberately open my heart to become more generous in my own spirit toward myself and others, so as to counterbalance the lack of generosity being observed here in this parking system?‘
*** Permission is expressly given by the author to reprint this blog post in all print, broadcast and electronic media provided that it is reprinted in full exactly as it appears above with no changes to text or headings, and that the author is credited as follows with hyperlinks activated in all electronic media: ‘Written by Juliet Martine – Energy Healer, Spiritual Teacher & Author, www.julietmartine.com.au‘ ***