I should have heeded the turned front wheels of the vehicle I parked next to when I pulled into the breakfast restaurant a couple of days ago. The only thing I remember is it was a white SUV type vehicle. Yesterday, after I backed my car out of the garage to get a ladder down, I noticed a small dent and white paint scratches on the front right part of my car, made by a vehicle that was taller than mine. My speculation is my fellow breakfast patron (and it would have been a man, as I did not notice any female patrons in the uncrowded restaurant), backed out in a hurry and did not realize his wheels were turned and kissed my car with his left front.
The dent is not too bad, but is noticeable. Yet, what annoys me more is that there was no note and no one reentered the restaurant with a mea culpa. No one walked in and declared “who is the owner of the…….?” It annoys me as someone decided that it was easier to just slink away. It annoys me someone would wrong another human being and not take responsibility. It annoys me how someone could be unaccountable. Of course, it would have taken more time out of both our days. Yet, it would have only been a trading of insurance cards and information. Now, I will be out my deductible to get the dent repaired.
Folks, I am far from perfect and make mistakes. We all do. I do my best to own up to them. That is what being accountable and responsible looks like. “I screwed up. I am sorry. Here is my insurance information. Please let me know if there are any problems.” This is what we owe each other. My hypothesis is the person got on his mobile phone when he jumped in the car (or before), started backing out, hit me, said “oh s–t”, looked around, corrected the car and drove on.
It should not be this hard. I wrote a post a few months back about a University of Toronto and University of California at Berkeley study on the impact of higher net worth and cheating. Here is a link: https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/the-psychology-of-wealth-can-make-you-less-compassionate/. Through numerous measures, the study indicated a higher propensity to cheat if the person had a higher income relative to others. The statistics revealed a 2 to 1 (and as much as 4 to 1 on same tests) higher propensity to cheat for high income individuals than those who had less. I am not saying the person who hit my car had high income. I don’t know. To me this is less relevant than the fact that people do cheat, even on unimportant things and for not significant financial gains. The loss here would have been time and maybe an increase in rating on insurance for the next year. The insurance company would have handled the rest.
I recognize this post won’t change someone’s stripes. I just ask that for those who do read this we encourage everyone to try to do the right thing. And, I when I do the right thing, I universally feel better about myself as I did what others expect of me. That is all we can ask – let’s be accountable and responsible to each other.