“What are you doing that you’re always seeing this?” Lore asked me “I’ve never in my life seen a car with the lights left on, but every time we go out you see one.”
“It has nothing to do with me,” I explained. “It’s other people who leave their car lights on.”
Twice when I was in college I came across cars with the lights left on and both times I found them unlocked, so I opened the doors and shut the lights off. The resulting cognitive distortion means whenever I see a car with lights left on, I believe the doors must be unlocked.
Lore said she wouldn’t want somebody opening her car door even if the lights were left on. She understands that the battery could go dead, but she still doesn’t like it. I, however, have at least twice been that guy who left the lights on and came back to find a dead battery.
So I always try to open the door (if the coast is clear) and if it’s locked I always tell the people inside about it. Why don’t I channel this Gandhi-like propensity for action toward to something important, say clothing the naked and feeding the hungry? Is it because I’ve never been naked and hungry (meaning involuntarily and at the same time)? It must mean only that I can relate best to the absent-minded.