From Too Many Laws to Shopping Cart Courtesy

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Suzanne Gelb Image ‘Venting — Why Must There be Laws for Everything?’ Dear Dr. Gelb: I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person, but I just hate it when my friends or even people I don’t know are always saying, or as they observe people they say, “There ought to be a law against this or that.” That just burns me up. Burned Up A: Dr. Gelb says . . . Dear Burned Up: What you describe is one way that people typically vent dissatisfaction about the behavior of others. What I would like to see is more people concentrating on their own social behavior, then there are likely to be better examples for others to emulate. In those instances when there is indeed validity to a comment such as, “There ought to be a law against that,” then it could be suggested to those individuals that they call their Senator or Congressman. Those are the people in government who can help bring about change, because they are in touch and involved with lawmakers and lawmaking. ‘Irresponsibility — Why Are People Untidy?’ Dear Dr. Gelb: Every time I go to the grocery store, I see shopping carts scattered all over the parking lot? Why don’t people put things back where they find them? Irritated A: Dr. Gelb says . . . Dear Irritated: As you have probably noticed, many shopping malls and grocery stores have tried the coin operated cart dispenser method as a way to encourage people to return their carts to the cart corral. Although this method has helped to some degree, a lot of vendors have stopped implementing it. One reason for this is probably because people are so rough on the carts, and the expense involved in repairing the damage to the dispenser element has proven not to be cost effective. Also, there are those irresponsible people who consider a quarter as not being worth their trip back to the corral. We can see from this that the consequence for behavior must be in proportion to the misdeed. Here’s a thought — perhaps in order to earn the privilege of using a shopping cart there should be a $50 deposit, payable by cash or credit card, and if one does not return the cart to its proper place within 24 hours, then the deposit would be forfeited. ”Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.” ”This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see” “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says” ”Email your questions to More information on Dr. Gelb’s services and related resources available at”