A simple truth about haters from the grocery store.

A few weeks ago, as we left the grocery store I decided to ride the cart.


Because awesome.

As I was riding on it, my feet on the bottom, my hands holding the railing, I heard my 10 year old yell something from behind me. Here is what she said:

“Daddy, stop doing that! You’re making us jealous!”

I thought that was interesting. She didn’t yell, “Daddy, be careful!” She didn’t yell, “Daddy, that’s against the rules!” She yelled, “You’re making us jealous!”

And there lies a simple truth.

Some times, people who hate on your dream aren’t really mad about the dream. They’re mad because you’re making them jealous. They want to be the one feeling the wind in their hair as they ride through a parking lot. They want to be the one seeing their book on a shelf in a real live bookstore. They want to be the one giving that speech or opening that business.

But for whatever reason, they aren’t and they have too much self awareness to yell the truth like a 10 year old.

Next time you get hated on, remember what a lot of them are really saying.

“Stop chasing your dream, you’re making us jealous!”


About Author

Jon Acuff
Jon Acuff


  1. So true. I often ask people who “question” my activities if they would be interested in partnering up on something if the opportunity came up down the road. Almost always instantaneously changes from “I don’t know why you would do that” (or “what are you trying to accomplish”) to “what did you have in mind.”

    (What I had in mind, dear hater, is revealing your true colors and maybe helping you come out of your shell instead of trying to tear others down!)

  2. As I pursue my dreams and finish off final drafts of my book, this is something I consider when receiving critiques. It’s the how versus what is being said. Some feedback has jealousy rooted throughout. Still, I just don’t toss out the criticism. I see if there is any substance that I can use to make myself better. I learned this lesson back when I was a consultant and gave advice regularly to others. Giving feedback helped me learn how to receive feedback properly.

  3. Great post, Jon! It’s kind of like when kids build a fort out of sheets and chairs, and they believe 100% that its a fort.. The adult needs more convincing. How great would it be if we could all have such childlike faith in imagination do more dream chasing not dream shaming?

  4. Dang. I’m 34 and never realized that, but when I look back…it is SO true.

    So glad you did that when she is 10 and not when she is 14 and wouldn’t admit that.

  5. Whoa. Needed that today. Dead on.

  6. Jen

    Totally love this post. One question though– is a “carriage” like a shopping cart? Or am I picturing this wrong? haha

    • Ann

      Ha Ha, that is my question too! We call them buggies or carts. I was getting distracted by thinking of him as Cinderella.

    • Michael

      I was thinking that too. At first, in my head was “what kind of grocery store has a horse-drawn carriage?”

      • Sonya

        Do they have the locks on the wheels that engage if taken past the parking lot? Imagine horses going in circles at the edge of the parking lot because someone tried to take the carriage home for aluminum-can collection later. Tally ho!

  7. Man, it has been WAY too long since I rode a grocery cart. In part because I can only safely do it inside in an empty aisle since the parking lot is STEEP.

  8. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. Maybe this is why we always feel so discouraged in following our dreams…Even the people that love us most (i.e., family) sometimes come across as haters. But I think you’re right. I wonder if there’s a way to say, “Hey! Don’t hate! Chase your dream and we’ll do this together!”

  9. Glad I’m not the only one who likes to ride the cart back to put it away!

    That really is a good point about jealousy… it is always hard to hear at the time, but looking back it is often from people who are not chasing their dream or feel stuck.

  10. Josh

    Brilliant truth! Thanks!

  11. Brandon

    Naysayers gonna naysay.

  12. I don’t know what “riding the carriage” is referring too either. I briefly thought it was like “chasing the dragon” but the kids were around and Jon seems like a pretty stand up guy and has good teeth so he probably doesn’t have heroin problems.

  13. Annie

    My kid would have yelled “Mom, stop! You’re embarrassing me!” 🙂

  14. Amy

    Very true! Another great post!!

  15. I hate to be “that guy,” but this is an element of envy, not jealousy! As a grammar nazi, I had to say something.

    Regardless, though, this post rings true in my life. What a good message.

  16. Michael

    My wife was never taught the fun and skill of riding a shopping cart growing up. I had her ride one when we were dating, she leaned back, the cart fell on her and she broke her foot. That was her one and only time to ride a cart.

  17. That is so true. Thanks for the reminder Jon.

  18. auntpickle

    I have experienced this multiple times at work. My co-workers talking about people behind their backs in order to cut them down all because they’re jealous! I am never involved in the conversation, just the aftermath cleaning up. I am always saying, “they’re jealous that you did ______”. It doesn’t always help immediately but usually after the victim thinks it over they realize I’m right… Jealousy is an ugly emotion!

  19. YES!! I do that all the time….well, the riding on the shopping cart part, not the Hating. LOL!! I don’t care how old I get, that is the best thing ever….well, except when the parking lot is downhill and you didn’t realize how steep and then when you jump off and try to stop the cart keeps going nearly crashing into a parked car and causing you to stumble and fall behind it but you’re still holding on so the cart actually drags you a few feet while you are on the ground hoping that no one saw this. But, that never happened to me though. I just heard…..

  20. I’m the kid yelling “Be careful”. I’ve got to lighten up.

  21. Christian Ahlmann

    If only the rest of the world were so honest =)

  22. My wife makes fun of me every time I ride the cart…what if she’s the hater??

  23. ronnie barnes

    so, did you let your girls ride on it also or not?

  24. I haven’t done anything for haters to show up yet, but I’m working hard to go after my dream, so I expect they’ll come one day. When they do, I’ll remember that they’re just wanting to feel the wind in their hair too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  25. Amaris Freier

    This week is having a “Trolley Tuesday” in it! (they are called shopping trolleys here in Australia)

  26. Shawn

    Well, I’m going to be that person and say that I see where you’re coming from, but the analogy doesn’t quite hold for me. What’s to stop your daughter (or in this case, a hater) from grabbing their own shopping cart and feeling the wind in their hair too? Its not like you’re riding the one shopping cart the store has. I guess I fail to see what she (or a hater) would have to be jealous of, when there are tons of other opportunities (shopping carts) available, and they’re all alike.

    • PJ

      Yeah, Shawn. I tend to agree with your thoughts. Unless he is a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of dad and doesn’t let his kids do unsafe things but he does them in front of them. If that’s the case, yeah, then the child might be jealous because he’s being more of a bratty brother than a father. 🙂

      Perhaps what the author was reaching for was a kind of “hey, don’t feel jealous, just grab your own shopping cart and get going” as an analogy for life. I don’t think he’d actually want his daughter possibly seriously hurting herself by riding a cart…

      My other thought is that it reminds me of what overprotective, well-meaning parents say to their kids when no one wants to play with them. It’s not because they might be mean, petty, stupid or no fun “it’s just because they’re jealous of you, honey.” lol

      It’s a reach, but I get it. I don’t like the example of the cart and his kid (if it really happened and who cares) but I get it and do agree that often ADULTS who snipe at others’ dreams could be quite jealous. 🙂

      • Shawn

        Yeah, it would be one thing if Jon told his kids they weren’t allowed to ride on the carts, and then he did and, THAT made them jealous. But if its just that he decided to and they didn’t, I see no reason for jealousy.

  27. This makes sense. Often the people I most want to critique are the ones doing the things I’m too scared to do but really want to try.