Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Car accident (#2) conclusion

So I finally got my car back on Nov. 27th and was amazed to see that it actually looked newer than when I first bought it! After that I sent word (via my supervisor, of course) to my insurance company that the car was repaired and everything was OK so the two insurance companies (mine and the obaachan's) could get things settled.

I was waiting to hear exactly how much and by when I would have to pay for my portion of the car repairs--did I mention before that the obaachan had kindly refused the need for me to pay for the damage to her car?--and finally got an email from Mukainakano-sensei today....

Turns out the obaachan actually (and very generously) insisted on paying for 100% of the damages from the accident, i.e. car repairs for both cars, plus my medical bills. @_@;; I still feel very shocked and humbled, and also rather regretful. 

As much as I complained about it, a tiny part of me (that I wanted to ignore) could kind of understand the logic behind the Japanese system of assessing responsibility/liability in the case of a multiparty accident, so I stopped feeling like it was "unfair." (Well, subjectively I still felt like it sucked, but when I looked at the situation objectively, I could accept the reasoning.)

[When I got the cost estimates from the insurance company, though, I did feel/wish, that I could have made things less costly for the obaachan (and myself) by buying a different used car. But she had requested that I repair the car so I acceded to her wishes. But I digress...]

I did mention in a post I wrote after the post about the car accident that I realized that I had misjudged the obaachan, but after learning that she had insisted on paying for 100% of the accident costs, I really regretted judging her so quickly (and harshly) in my initial post-accident blog entry.

Looking back, I realize that what I interpreted as "rudeness" could, with a kinder eye, be interpreted as mere brusqueness--likely partially attributable to personality but also probably partially attributable to shock from the accident. I guess I was too caught up in my own feelings/reactions to the accident to be able to step back and look at her actions from a different perspective. I mean, everyone reacts to shock differently. And courtesy/manners are really more a reflection of social skills than of character, so it was unfair of me to think of her as a "rude person" because her behaviour was abrupt/"rude".

Ahhh... I'm making a mess of things, but basically what I want to say is that I've realized that I should work harder not to judge people. This is really the first time I've understood (in my heart and not just my head) why God tells Christians not to judge others. And I feel regretful at my uncharitable thoughts about the obaachan when I think about the verse in 1 Samuel (16:7): "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

All I could see was the obaachan's abrupt behaviour and the fact that she didn't explicitly say "I'm sorry." But now her actions have revealed an amazing sense of...integrity? Honesty?

I mean, even if you really felt 100% responsible, it would be easy to accept only 80% of the liability for practical, financial reasons. (And really, the repair cost wasn't a small amount.) If I was in her shoes, I really don't know if I'd be able to make the decision to do the same thing.

So yes, I feel incredibly humbled by her actions.

And I want to do my best from now on to draw conclusions about people less hastily and to give them the benefit of a doubt instead of assuming the worst--because only God knows what is truly inside a person's heart.

(Apologies if this post wasn't very coherent/intelligible--I'm still "in shock" from the outcome of the situation.)