April 21, 2010

Random Act of Kindness Challenge – Day 21: The Silver Lining


Welcome to Day 21 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, please do so and let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

I had thought of doing this post as a Wordless Wednesday because, well, I’m sad and didn’t want to talk about my random act of car accident. Instead, as I posted about my car accident on my (personal) Facebook page I realized that there was a silver lining to my accident today.

Here’s the story: I was on my way to teach about Australia culture. I came to a read light and stopped. As the light turned green the car in front of me went and I took my foot off the break. In what was a split second, he put on the brakes and I couldn’t brake fast enough. So I hit the car in front of me. Going all of about 5 miles per hour. No major damage, really. But, with plastic cars as they are today there was some damage to both vehicles.

I got out of the car and was ready with my info when I turned around to get my cell phone and there was a police cruiser behind me. He just happened upon this little fender bender. Lucky him!

He stopped traffic so we could move out vehicles out of the way and exchange information in a safer location. Easy enough. I had already called CycleGuy and told him I had hit a car. And I didn’t cry! I was composed. Freaked out, but composed. Luckily, BabyGirl and her friend were strapped in well in the back seat playing with their bears and were not injured. Actually, I don’t think anyone was injured but I won’t even go there.

Officer Awesome handed us each a paper on which to fill out our required info – Name, Address, Driver’s License, Vehicle Info, Phone. Pretty much everything you’d need for identity theft, if you ask me. But you didn’t. Anyway, it’s part of his job. So I filled it out and gave it back to the officer.

With my trusty iPhone in hand, I started taking photos of the people in the other car as well as the vehicles. Need to document this stuff! There is a small crack in the other car by the license plate but it’s all one piece so the entire back bumper will likely need to be replaced. And since I was going a mere 4 or 5 miles per hour, I seriously doubt that my Mini Cooper did any other damage. But, we’ll see what is claimed.

Officer Awesome talks to us and tells us all our options about who to call and getting bids. He then hands us the other driver’s paperwork and said we’re free to go. Although I don’t believe him and say ‘Really?’ Then he goes into an explanation of how this is minor damage and accidents happen and we just need to be nice to each other and we look like good and upstanding citizens so he’s not writing up an accident report or calling anyone else out. Really?

He suggests the other drive go in to the convenience store to buy a disposable camera to take pictures but they don’t, saying that they’ll just get my pictures. I’ve taken about 9 pictures of them and their car. And Officer Awesome tells them that I don’t have to give over my photos. He knows his stuff!

So, in all of this, CycleGuy was very pragmatic and supportive. He offered me statistics about car accidents and laws of averages. He gave me the ‘accidents happen’ speech. And I’m thankful for all of that because I am shaken by this. I don’t like making mistakes. Not. One. Bit.

Could there be a silver lining to this car accident? Could I find something to be thankful for in addition to the fact that no one was injured? And I did. I was not ticketed! Officer Awesome did not give me a citation for the accident.

Maybe it was his Random Act of Kindness. Maybe he just didn’t want to deal with all the paperwork. Possibly he saw me as being the upstanding citizen that I am. Regardless of why, I’m thankful that I did not get a ticket.

In case you’re wondering what my car looked like after, here’s a picture of the front of my Mini Cooper. Not too bad, eh?


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