True Case II – A Brave Man and his Principles
Mr. Brown was driving around for 20 minutes trying to find a parking space in Tel Aviv, when from a short distance, he saw an empty space. Mr. Brown drove to the parking space (on his left side) and slowly started to enter the space between two other cars when suddenly someone jumped in front of his car blocking the way to enter the parking space.
Mr. Brown stopped his car, stepped outside and politely asked the guy to please move away (noticing that he was an unshaven, tall and very muscular person looking very unfriendly). Sure Mr. Brown understood that the guy was waiting for his friend to take the parking space, sure Mr. Brown was sad to hear that that person found the parking space before Mr. Brown, but it is unheard of for someone to wait for a friend to park and in the meantime keep the parking space untaken!
Mr. Brown was right – it is illegal, it is unfair but it is also the reality – especially in Israel. The only problem was that Mr. Brown had his own agenda, his own principles and gave the man a speech about respecting someone else’s right to park in an empty parking space, etc.
He felt good educating that guy but unfortunately the “pupil” was not happy at all. He responded with some “juicy and spicy expressions”! Now Mr. Brown was angry but so was the other guy and unwilling to give up. In the meantime the friend arrived but Mr. Brown’s car was blocking his way. After a few more exchanges of ugly words, Mr. Brown entered his car and drove in “by force”.
Mr. Brown was angry but said nothing. He felt good for not being a “friar” as we say in Israel. He left the scene, leaving behind two young, angry, uneducated and “unfriendly” guys. This was his parking space, he had the right to have it, and he was not scared of these bullies! Good for Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown arrived a few hours later to his car. It was still there but something was different. Along the side of the car, there was a deep line, a deep scratch all along the car from bumper to bumper.
To fix the car, Mr. Brown could not use his insurance policy because the price to fix the scratch was just a little higher than his deductible of $500 dollars. He had to pay from his own pocket and use public transportation for two days until the car was fixed and returned to him.
Mr. Brown will lose even more money in the future when he sells his car because of the devaluation due to the patching and touch-up paint! I estimate Mr. Brown has incurred around $1000 in damages in exchange for a parking space and his principles.
Being Right is not Always Being Smart:
Sure Mr. Brown was right but he was not smart. He thought that being brave was his privilege – it was, but it was a very costly.
It is better to be smart than right sometimes. Don’t try to create a new reality if you are not willing to pay a price; and even when you are ready to pay a price, better to learn how to pick your battles.