I’m writing this piece because I am appreciative of the kindness that was shown to me by someone that I didn’t even know after I made a mistake and hit his car.
So it happened one morning in the parking lot of a mall. It was around 11am and there were loads of parking spaces but for some reason I wanted to park as close as possible to the entrance. As I was parking my car on the left side of another car, I somehow miscalculated the space and hit the back of his car. I thought it was nothing and just continued parking.
When I got out, I saw a huge damage in the car: the paint chipped off and was all over the floor. It was in this moment that I knew I messed up. I contemplated on what I will do next and went back inside my car. I’ll be honest, I thought of just running away and just leave it like that. I thought to myself, they will never find out, no one saw me.
But then I remembered the song Guilty Conscience by Eminem and Dr. Dre and the situations from one of my favourite shows, What Would You Do. And so it hit me, I have to do the right thing whether or not someone will know.
I tried to find a paper where I can write my contact details so the owner can call me when he finds out what happened to his car. I found an envelope and tore off the top part and wrote “I’m sorry I scratched your car. Please check how much the damage is and let me know” and then my phone number. I slipped it on his window where he can see it easily and I waited for his call.
I didn’t go to the mall. I left and told myself I made a mistake and I have to suffer the consequence no matter how expensive that might be. So I waited and waited until he finally called at around 7pm.
Here’s the transcript of the call
Car owner: Salam Alaykum!
Me: Good evening, may I know who’s this?
Car owner: I am the owner of the car that you hit
Me: Hi Sir, I’m sorry for that. I didn’t really mean to..
Car Owner: It’s ok
Me: So, if you can please check how much it will cost to have it repaired and just let me know so I can transfer the money to you..
Car Owner: I have checked already. Don’t worry. I think you’re a good guy. Some people will just run away if they did that but you took the time to write a note and I appreciate it. Don’t worry about it, you don’t have to pay me anything.
Me: Really? Are you sure that’s ok? I mean..
Car Owner: Yes, yes. It’s fine. What is your good name?
Me: My name is Mark.
Car Owner: Ok Mark. Have a good evening!
Me: You too sir! (with a huge smile on my face)
And what a relief it was when I got off the phone. Thank God I made the right decision and did the right thing. The day after, I told everyone what happened and they were all saying, “See, that’s what happens when you’re honest!”
So if it wasn’t still obvious, the moral of the story is to be honest. If we make a mistake, we have to own up to it and suffer the repercussion of our actions. It’s easy to be honest when other people can see you but I think the true mark of a man can be seen when he does the right thing regardless if people are looking or not.