Reason and the Emotional Cliff

Saturday I was wheeling toward the vegetable and fruit area of my local Publix when I spotted him. A guy, maybe in his early 40’s, grazing on a bag of red grapes.

As I got closer I noticed that he had switched to green grapes. I laughed to myself and thought, what a weird guy.

Then, I caught his eye – he stopped chewing and appeared to shift into some kind of slow, mouth massage. I almost burst out laughing.

Right then, he broke our glance and pushed past me – guess what – without a single grape in his cart!

I felt the need to tattle on him. But I didn’t. I managed to pull myself away and finish shopping.

Anyway, I’ve since learned that what he did is called “grazing” and grocery stores usually know about it.

Regardless, I couldn’t get him out of my mind…

Was he trying to get a free snack and felt justified because he was starving? Hum.. he was wearing nice running gear and there were lots of other items in his cart, so…this theory didn’t seem to fit.

Or, did he have an inflated sense of entitlement and that he would steal grapes if he wanted to. Yes, this “felt” right. 

Of course I’ll never know the answer, but I wondered…would I have felt differently if he were a young boy who was not wearing warm clothes and appeared hungry? Probably so – just me. 

The thing is, reason tells me that grape-stealer-guy was wrong, but because he seemed to think the rules didn’t apply to him, I felt decided that he felt entitled. 

Most decisions are like this, reason will get you part the way but emotion will push you over the cliff.