Ray’s Challenge

Shopping can be a pain especially when you don’t like to shop in the first place. Going to this shopping center, or that mall to buy a gift, for groceries, or to shop for something you need can be a real hassle. Parking is no fun in sub-freezing temperatures, the snow pack, the frozen slush can make hunting for that ultimate parking spot in the several acre parking lot a real deterrent. Ah, then you spot it two spots away from the handicapped parking spot you get a little closer and you wonder how it is possible no one has taken this providential parking spot. Then you find out why.

There’s a shopping cart in the spot. Argh!

The dreaded shopping carts hidden in a parking spot.

I, Publius Jr, have a friend from Wordsmiths Toastmasters Club of which I’ve belonged to since April 2, 2007. My friend’s name is Ray Wallin.  Ray is a painting contractor at A & W Painting and he has a hobby of photography, he likes to camp out in subzero weather, and he is a single father of two boys.  He is an active volunteer at Rondo Library. He has been named as “The Bard“–a title given to the audience favorite at the Annual Wordsmiths Toastmasters Poetry Contest I’ve organized since 2009, held on the 3rd Monday of April.

Ray has some unique observations. During Wordsmiths Toastmasters there is a portion of the meeting in which we practice impromptu speaking called Table Topics. The Table Topics leader will ask an unknown question to a person who doesn’t have a speaking role for the evening to answer and to explain your answer from 1-2 minutes. During a meeting a question was directed to Ray.

His reply was a challenge to those who were listening at the meeting. It went something like this:

“One of things I hate about shopping is when you go to park and you see a spot really close to the entrance of the store and you think you’re really lucky to spot it. When you get ready to turn into it you notice a shopping cart in it.  Argh!

So, what I’ve been doing is when I’m returning to my car, or as I’m walking into the store, or mall, I return those stray carts back to the cart corral or all the way back to the front of the store before I continue on my way.  It isn’t much more than a few minutes out of my day, but I have the feeling I’ve made someone’s day or helped someone without ever meeting that person.

So I challenge you to do the same.” — Ray Wallin’s Table Topics response.

We pick up Ray’s Challenge and pass it along to you to do. It’s not a karma thing, which we don’t believe in. It doesn’t even have to be about wrangling a shopping cart to a proper place, it can be just about anything that helps someone else out without being asked to do it.

If you’re on Twitter please post your completed task by saying what it is and the hashtag #RaysChallenge

It’s all about being a good neighbor and a good citizen.

Please fill this cart corral up and keep those stray carts from ruining other people’s day


We are posting this as a courtesy.  Ray is not affiliated with Saintpaulrepublicans.us, nor is his Painting Company.  This is one of those #BrightIdeas everyone can do no matter their political stripe.  We did get permission to use Ray’s full name and mention his Business.  Wordsmiths Toastmasters is always looking for new members so we added its link as well.

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