Accountability. Taking Responsibility.

Allstate Insurance is running a television commercial, where a man pretending to be a sixteen year old girl talking on her cell phone drives the pink car into a parked car in a crowded parking lot, causing significant damage. He never misses a beat or thinks twice but simply keeps on driving, speeding out of the parking lot. This is just another example of how our society is deteriorating.

Last month just after having the bumper replaced on our SUV, someone ran into the new bumper in a parking lot, and simply drove away, leaving behind $450 damage for us to pay.  Last week my mother in law parked her minivan at a hotel.  In the morning she saw where someone during the night ran into her minivan, damaging the entire back bumper.  No other vehicles were around when she discovered the damage.

The more people I talk to, the more I find similar things happened to their cars.  Then as I look around at cars, on the road or in parking lots, I see the amount of scratches and damage on other vehicles, and wonder just how many of those were caused by individuals who never took responsibility.

I think the Allstate commercial simply captures what is happening everywhere, and not just by teenagers.  Hurried or distracted adults and seniors cause just as much damage, and simply drive away. A relative watched a senior try to parallel park.  He struck the front and rear vehicles twice each before ending his parking.  He simply walked into the store as if nothing happened.

For those of you with kids, you’ll appreciate this story.  This week at church when my son threw open his car door, he impacted it right into the passenger door of the neighboring car.  He caused a 3-4 inch deep scratch right in the middle of their door, as well as a dent.  I was mortified.  For a moment I looked at it and thought just how easy it would be to simply move my car to a different spot, knowing no one saw what just happened.  Then I wondered just how someone could live with themselves after doing it, knowing the person whose car you just damaged was in church with you, and likely every week.  I used it as a lesson for my kids.  I told the the only thing to do was to find the person after church, explain what happened, provide our information, and pay for the damage after they obtained an estimate.  I wasn’t happy about having to pay money, but it was the only thing to do.

After church the car was still there, and we spoke with the car’s owner.  After hearing what happened and my position on people who don’t take responsibilities for their actions, the woman told us not to worry about it, and that we should have a nice day.  I was floored.  Perhaps she was equally floored that someone actually took responsibility for their actions.

Things can have a happy ending even when you do the right thing, and you sleep at night knowing you did the right thing.

Just how many people in today’s society would act similarly?  The answer likely is – most would think I was crazy for not simply moving my car to another area of the parking lot.  What a great lesson that would have been for my kids – likely what has happened to the continual erosion of our society.

35 thoughts on “Accountability. Taking Responsibility.”

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