Thursday 11 December 2014

Lock Your Car

I don’t know if it is because I am getting old or if social mores have changed. I imagine that it is a combination of the two.

The other evening, a neighbour who seems to like fish tailing his truck on ice, crashed into my next door neighbour. Sadly (?) for him, there was a witness and it was early enough in the evening to draw a crowd. I think he would have disappeared if there wasn’t a witness and as it was he didn’t have the courage to go up to the house in question to tell them he hit their truck. I didn’t have a problem with it though. I don’t know what will happen, but the cops came and took statements so I hope this guy ends up doing the right thing.

Too often people’s cars are “dinged” in shopping centre parking lots and the “dinger” just takes off. I guess the rational is that “I didn’t hit the car hard enough to dent it.” or “They have more money than I do, it is an expensive car.” or “Insurance will cover the damage and fix whatever else is wrong with the car.” What is really happening is that the “dinger” is afraid that they will have to pay for the damage either themselves or through an insurance company.

Maybe the same thing happened forty years ago, it probably did. Mind you, forty years ago the cars were made of thicker steel and you would have to really crash into one to even make a dent. There were fewer cars in the parking lots and aisles with plenty of room to manoeuvre. I’d like to think that people took responsibility for their actions back in the old days. I’d like to think that but I’ve lost a lot of brain cells over the years.

The other day in the library, I was wandering the stacks and eavesdropping on the people sitting at the tables. Those tables used to be used by people reading or working on school projects, but now they seem to be reserved as lunch/snack tables. More often than not, they are populated by challenged adults and their care givers. It is nice that they have somewhere to go during the day to keep busy and hopefully entertained.

One conversation I was listening to was a young man who wanted to buy something from the cafeteria. His caregiver told him that he had no money so he couldn’t get anything to eat.

“What if I get some money?”

The caregiver said “We aren’t going home to get you some money.”

“I can just go into the parking lot and get money from the unlocked cars.”

“That money doesn’t belong to you; you shouldn’t do things like that.”

“I won’t get caught and those people have lots of money anyways…”

I wandered out of earshot, but made a mental note to never leave money in my car…ever! Not once did the caregiver tell him that what he wanted to do was illegal and he could get arrested for it, probably because she knew he would never get arrested even if he was caught. How can anyone, even the challenged, not know the difference between right and wrong? We pretty much all know we just choose to ignore what is right if it benefits us.

I’m glad I am coming to the end of my life and not just beginning, but I wish the new generation well. Just be sure to lock your car in the parking lot!

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