Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Learning from rationalizations

Well, here's a follow-up post that I'm not proud to write. I recently wrote about a situation at an overly crowded workplace parking garage in which a car that was over the line, basically taking up two spaces (including the last available one), got hit when another car tried to squeeze in. The driver of the car that tried to squeeze in didn't leave a note for the driver of the car that was hit.

Among other things, I wrote that I felt the driver who parked over the line was at fault, so I didn't blame the second driver for not leaving a note. But I also wrote that I know two wrongs don't make a right, and not leaving a note certainly seemed to fit the description of a second wrong. And I wrote that, when discussing this with a friend and asked how I would feel if my car was the one that was hit, I said I wouldn't have parked over the line in the first place.

Well, I guess I was wrong about that. Yesterday, when I pulled into a parking space at the uncrowded garage, I remember thinking that the pickup facing me must have been pretty far outside its space. Because I was parked right in line with the cars on my side. But when I got out of my car, I saw that the truck was within the lines, and I was over the line. For some reason, all of the cars on my side had bunched up, and I just followed the pattern without knowing it.

But the thing is, once I realized it, I didn't move my car! All the way from the parking garage to my desk, which is no small distance, I thought about this. Sure, if all of those cars stay where they are, there's no problem. But if one leaves and another comes to take its place, the situation might look exactly like the one described last week (except the garage likely would not be filled).

It would have been so easy to do the right thing -- move my car within the lines -- but I didn't do it. And I had so many excuses!!!! The main one was that someone was moving things from a company car to his personal car in the row where I'd parked, and I thought it would look stupid to move my car. (I did also remind myself that, if I did get hit, I could follow through with what I wrote last week, and accept that it was my fault!)

I guess the thing that still amazes me is how easy it is to think I'd always do the right thing, but when the opportunity comes, I don't. In this case, it really wasn't a big deal, mainly because parking spaces weren't at a premium (and I didn't get hit). But I'm so aware that the little rationalizations, whether they involve speeding or sleeping in on weekend mornings instead of going to help with Angel Food or attend Sunday school, make it easier to rationalize bigger wrongs or lapses.

The reason I write about it is because I'm trying to be more aware and honest. I write about the positive steps. It seems only fair to write about obvious examples of where I fall short, too, even when they may seem insignificant. That's not to say this is the worst stuff I do; far from it, and some shortcomings involve areas I can't imagine ever writing about -- at least not until they are corrected. And maybe someday they will be, as I continue to take prayerful steps toward accountability, disclosure and responsibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment