An accident

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When one thinks about decent and compassionate people, the first thing that comes to mind is those who devote their hearts and minds to charity service in order to help the less fortunate. However, some of the greatest individuals are those who go out of their way to commit acts of generosity rather than those who partake in charitable events. They are still concerned with keeping the world clean for everyone. They are able to confess an error and are committed to accepting responsibility for their behavior. They will interrupt what they're doing to help a neighbor, reaching out to strangers and turning them into friends. They can easily connect with strangers by making them feel comfortable and being concerned of their welfare. The elderly driver driving an Older Comaro, a character in the short story 'Accident' by Dave Eggers tells us of a stranger who caused an accident and went ahead to admit the mistake and offer help to the victims. Although the three drivers are not hurt, their vehicles are damaged. The elderly driver reaches out to check if they are hurt and to access the damage of the vehicles which he then takes responsibility of the damage.

The elderly driver is a mature and responsible person. He appreciates the need for taking good care of his environment and the people around him. While driving a Comaro is considered an old, he has ensured that the car is well maintained and well cared for. He has been able to renovate the car to make it relevant and new, 'an older Camaro in new condition'. From the onset the elderly driver recognizes his mistake which is quite unlike the norm.

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Since an accident occurs due to unplanned events which sometimes are beyond control and understanding, the elderly driver is able to read and understand the situation at hand and is fast enough to admit it, 'The accident was your fault, and you walk over to tell them this'. He is so remorseful of what has happened and what he has caused but he has the courage to face the situation with an aim of solving the problem. He clearly acknowledges that he has done something wrong, 'You are a bad person, you think'. He steps out of the comfort zone and faces his fears, 'Walking to their car, which you have ruined, it occurs to you that if the three teenagers are angry teenagers, this encounter could be very unpleasant'. He knows this might end up badly and he might end up being beaten by angry teenagers but this does not stop him from taking responsibility. He faces the situation boldly and takes a step further by apologizing for his actions, 'You tell him that you are sorry. That you are so, so sorry. That it was your fault and that you will cover all costs'. Not only is he sorry for his actions, but also takes the various measures available to compensate the three teenagers. He has a keen eye for detail and is very cautious. He is afraid of causing harm and death of the people around him as he is reminded of a past scenario in the movies where the victims died, 'and you are reminded of scenes where drivers are stuck in submerged cars'.

Considering that the actions he did are common with drunken drivers, he is not drunk nor is he unaware of what is required of him on the road. He is afraid of being misjudged because this is an accident which he didn't plan on doing. His courage is to be admired, facing three teenagers might be quite a task but he faces them and makes friends effortlessly. He first checks on each one of them to ensure that each one of them is safe and their vehicles are not damaged.

Clearly the elderly driver is in charge and shows his maturity in handing the damages in a good and fair manner. It is actions which should be applauded and praised. He connects with the drivers instantly and makes friends so fast. The elderly driver has a soft touch as he recognizes that he has caused harm to the three teenagers and now that he has become friends with them he sincerely regrets this which makes him cry. He is full of emotions and he is not able to keep to himself. He wants to share his emotions with the three new friends.

He appreciates the opportunity of life given and now that he nearly caused death and was lucky he does not take it for granted. The three teenagers are very patient and understanding. They do not fight the elderly driver nor do they argue with him. They willingly accept that damage has been done and are ready to take the next step to ensure that the damage has been corrected. The elderly driver's generosity accommodative personality and respect is unmatched, he knows how to gel well with teenagers who are much younger than him, and He is able to calm the situation, offer a solution, make friends and create emotional memories. He does all this so effortlessly within a very short duration of time, 'He knows your name and you know his, and you almost killed him and, because you got so close to doing so but didn't, you want to fall on him, weeping, because you are so lonely, so lonely always, and all contact is contact, and all contact makes us so grateful we want to cry and dance and cry and cry'.

The elderly driver is quite knowledgeable on the motor vehicles, he is able to see the motor vehicle and analyze its features. He looks at the vehicle of one of the teenagers and which is not good and fashionable in that year but since he is considerate and doesn't want to hurt the feelings of the teenager, only inquires if the car is new, 'You also think: what a dorky car for a teenager to buy in 2005' . Ordinarily the dorky nature of the vehicle could be a reason not to pay compensation or cause a reason to undermine the teenager but he does not do act in this manner. He is very cautious of his words and actions towards the teenagers. This also brings out the fact that the teenager is naïve and unexposed. This is because the teenager did not select the best vehicle when buying which matches his age. Probably he would have selected a more fashionable, modern and trend vehicle. The elderly driver confirms this by realizing that the teenager is not aggressive or hardworking, 'He is 18, blond, average in all ways'. The teenager could have done more to stay trendy, modern and successful. At his age he could have been more aggressive and sharper than the elderly driver.

The elderly driver has a personality worth emulating because he knows the value of friendship and relationships. He understands that situations in life may go up and down, sometimes good and bad but this should not change the need to build strong friendships and relationships, 'In a moment of clarity, you finally understand why boxers, who want so badly to hurt each other, can rest their heads on the shoulders of their opponents, can lean against one another like tired lovers, so thankful for a moment of peace'. Creation of friendships and relationship is one of the greatest most emotional and best gift we could give each other so as to be able to accommodate and assist each other in each and every season in life.

The teenagers should undertake steps to ensure that they are well knowledgeable on recent issues and key matters. This will enable them make wiser decisions and accelerate their growth and development. This was well illustrated by how the teenager bought a dorky vehicle and his appearance was average. With a knowledgeable background the teenager could be above average and could have made a wise decision on vehicle purchase. On the other hand it depicts the importance of experience which comes with age. The elderly driver has learnt a lot over the year which has given him solid experience to be able to make better decisions. This is the reason why he has been able to maintain his car to look modern and be able to handle the situation in a very calm manner. The teenagers should be able to quickly learn and emulate the decision making process of the elderly driver.

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Work Cited

Eggers, Dave. "Dave Eggers' Short Short Stories." The Guardian, 2017, Accessed 7 September 2017.

July 24, 2021

Life Sociology



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