Friday, June 18, 2010

Straddling a line between right and wrong

I'm aware of a situation in which, on a day of a special event, the only parking place available in a company garage was partially filled by a car straddling the line. So the driver of another car in need of a space tried to squeeze in. And that second car bumped up against the first car, leaving more of a paint mark than the driver would have expected. The driver quickly backed out and went to find a space outside the garage. The driver didn't leave a note for the car that was hit.

The driver claims he/she normally would have left a note and has left notes accepting responsibility in similar cases. But he/she was adamant against doing so this time, because he/she contends it never would have happened if the first car had been parked within the lines. What this made me realize is that I totally agree with the driver who tried to squeeze in. Spaces were at a premium, and that car shouldn't have been over the line. At the same time, I also know that two wrongs don't make a right. And that certainly seems to fit the description of two wrongs.

I discussed this with a friend, who asked how I would feel if I owned the car that was hit? My quick reply is that I wouldn't have been parked over the line, so it wouldn't have happened. But if I did park over the line and it happened, I'd realize and accept my fault.

I guess I keep thinking about it because it could so easily be me. I'm definitely one who has tried to work my way into a crowded parking space, sometimes successfully, and sometimes giving up when I could tell it was impossible.

I'm trying to draw a good lesson or conclusion from this. For one, I guess it makes me more aware of the risk of trying to squeeze into a crowded space. But I'm still not convinced I won't try it again if the opportunity presents itself.

So, for all the progress I see myself making in some areas of discipline, setting boundaries and taking responsibility, here's an area where I'm puzzled by how certain I am that the first wrong justifies the second wrong.

Maybe the lesson is that I'll never be perfect, and I can't expect others to be perfect. But two wrongs still won't make a right. I pray that I will choose to make right decisions even when a "wrong" seems justified.

(It just occurs to me this incident involved 3 wrongs: The first driver over the line; the second driver bumping the first car; and the second driver not leaving a note to let the first driver know. Hmmmm. How would I feel about that? Not too good. Maybe now I understand a little better why my friend thought it was imperative the second driver would own up to bumping the first car. But I can also see how the second driver could rationalize that it would just be opening up a potential messy situation that could be easily avoided by not saying anything. I'm still not proud of that attitude, but it's honest right now.) (Lord, if I need to change, it's up to YOU!)

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