Years ago, our family went into a Wendy’s to eat after church. This particular Wendy’s must have been the post-church-hot-spot because it was packed. We were standing in line to order and I had time to observe a striking lesson.
Families standing in line began to fear that they wouldn’t get a table. They came up with this brilliant idea: One family member (generally the mother/wife) gave their order to the father/husband and went to secure a vacant table. The father/husband stood in line to order the food. Not a bad idea. It’s not illegal or unethical. But it started to cause a bigger problem.
So many people were now reserving tables for their families still in line that there were NO tables left open for the people who now had their food and were trying to sit down. The families that were reserving tables for later were keeping the families with food from being able to eat. If they would have just gotten up and released their tables for the people with food, the dining room would have kept flowing and there would have been seats for everyone in time.
The families reserving the tables were fearful. They were trying to protect their interests at the expense of others. People with trays of food were forced to stand looking at the people with empty tables. The fearful people could only look down because they were embarrassed at the scene in front of them.
Why do we worry? Why do we fret about retirement that is years or decades away? We may be worrying about a need 10, 20, or 30 years away while there are others who have nothing to live on now.
I’m not advocating poor financial planning. I’m not against saving. But what is the cost to those who are hungry today while we worry about food in the future? Should we be concerned about medical care in our senior years when so many need care right now?
Next time you’re in a busy restaurant take notice of the people “saving” a seat. Many restaurants no longer seat parties until the entire group is ready to sit down. hmmm