What would you do?

Today, was a busy day. I was rushing from a training on the east side of town to get to The Heart of the Community Luncheon that I’d been invited to sponsored by Hands On Portland in downtown Portland.

I was late for the luncheon when I finally arrived at the parking garage. I was driving quickly up into the garage eagerly looking for a parking spot. Perhaps I was a bit overzealous as a turned into a spot that I thought I could fit into. Unfortunately, my front end swiped the back-end of the parked car. “Darn it!” I said as the Subaru’s car alarm began to go off. I backed up and knew instantly that I would have to park and leave a note for the car owner. I had to drive away first though because I couldn’t stop where I was in the parking lot. I drove around and up another level and found a big spot and easily drove in. As I walked down the flight of stairs to the floor below to find the car, I honestly considered NOT leaving a note. I mean really what’s the big deal. They’d never know and I wouldn’t be held responsible. My car is a dozen years old at this point and has enough dings that I can’t even count them any more, but when I arrived at the car, I knew that I had to leave my information. I scribbled a note for the owner on a small slip of paper and as I walked away, I was frustrated with myself for mistaking how big the parking spot was but I also knew I had done the right thing.

I thought about the car again later in the day when I returned to the garage and saw that the car was still sitting there with my note on the door. I could just as easily swipe the note away, but I remembered what my mother felt like last summer when someone damaged her bumper and left her with a big dent. I remembered how frustrated she was by the experience. I couldn’t do the same thing. So the note stayed.

Do I hope that the owner won’t call me? Of course! I hope they think, well that was nice that she left her number but no big deal, we don’t need to call her. Now it’s just a waiting game to see if the owner does call. But I know that what I did what was right in this situation and the outcome is now out of my hands. So have you ever scraped another car and left the scene without leaving your name and number? How about a car accident or the scene of a crime? Sometimes the right thing to do is not easy. Sometimes it takes courage to do the right thing and not walk away from something that you caused. I feel better tonight knowing I didn’t do that, but I admit I kind of still hope I won’t get that call…

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