I did something really stupid recently.
(So what else is new?) (Shut up, dad!)
They have been building a new house on my street and it’s been annoying all of the neighbors because they keep blocking off the road. We live on a one way street so if a big cement truck is taking up the whole road because they don’t know how to park it, it’s kind of frustrating trying to get in and out.
I was driving drive back to my house and trying not to run through my neighbor’s lawn when the cement truck was taking up 90% of the road. As I was driving by I didn’t see the front bumper of the truck sticking out and it caught the passenger side doors and jacked them up pretty good. They didn’t have any cones out or blinking lights or anything. I bent their bumper and they called the cops.
The cop said it was all my fault because it was parked. Nothing I can do about it.
I felt like they should have at least met me half-way and helped pay for the damages. I thought, “So can they just have spikes and attack weapons shooting out of all sides of the truck like Mad Max, but if it’s parked then it’s everyone else’s fault?”
- I could make the cement truck’s company a nightmare and go down to their offices and demand that they pay for my car damages.
- I could track their truck and everywhere they go I could block them in somehow so they can’t get to their jobs.
- I could go put my hand in front of their faces and yell, “I’m not touching you! I’m not touching! You can’t get mad!”
As I was standing outside and looking at my car damages and thinking through my options of how I was going to fight back, I had a thought pop into my head:
“The problem with ‘Getting what’s mine’ is that none of it is yours. It’s all God’s.”
Eventually, I settled on sucking it up filing a claim with my insurance provider and I’ll be paying my deductible this week to get repairs.
You may read this and think, “You’re a pushover. I would have fought that.”
Maybe I am a pushover. It’s true, I don’t like confronting people and raising a fuss. I don’t like sending back food and giving waiters a hard time.
I was telling my friend Mike Caputo about the situation and how annoying it was, but then also about how I’m not going to hunt down the cement truck. Mike was my roommate in DC and he is probably the calmest person I’ve ever met. I’ve seen him go through some situations but keep a positive outlook and remain even-keeled.
Mike said, “I’ve had those thoughts, too, about maybe doing more and pushing people around. Then I realized in order to do that, you have to be angry all the time. And I don’t want to live angry.”
Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
I’ve seen people lose friendships and even marriages over the need to be right. There are dominant people who never get ripped off and who get their way all the time, and they are horrible to be around. There are people who are never happy and who always have something negative to say.
I’m not saying we need to be pushovers or to accept being ripped off. I have to learn to do a better job of standing up for myself and not always be so passive. But seeking vengeance is an angry way to live.
Why not use that energy to get angry over other people’s injustice? Maybe that’s what turning the other cheek is about. Turning your focus off of who is angering you and looking at someone else who needs your help and your passion.
I’m pretty sure there are more important injustices in the world besides the waiter who brought you fries when you ordered potato salad.
Note: None of this blog applies to dealing with cable companies.