Meaningful Accident

At 3:15 yesterday while driving south down Derech Hebron shortly before the right turn into Gilo in Jerusalem a car stopped suddenly and I banged into it. Soon after, the car behind me banged into me, and shoved me again into the car in front of me. The car in front of me then pulled away and I saw huge shards of building materials blocking the road. I got out of my car and gave my details to the guy in the car behind me, who apologized for hitting my car. Then a police car drove up and told me the woman in the car in front of me is around the corner, shaking and upset and maybe I can go and help her. I went there and talked to her and gave her my details. She told me that the car in front of her stopped suddenly because of the materials blocking the road and that made her stop suddenly to avoid him but then he drove away. She said she’s shaking and can’t drive. I stayed with her a little more and told her to let herself calm down a bit before she drives.

Thinking about the meaning, there are two mindsets from a logotherapeutic perspective: life is meaningless and life is meaningful

Life is meaningless

(After shooting off a few expletives) It’s not my fault. It’s the fault of the guy who drove away. Why did he drive away?! Why did she have to stop so suddenly like that? Couldn’t she have gone into the other lane? And even if I hadn’t gone into her, the car behind me still would have gone into me. Really it’s the fault of whoever put the rocks or whatever they were on the road. This is so unfair! I needed this like a hole in the head! I have things to do tomorrow. Now I have to shlep around on buses. I have to go to the garage, and I hate going to the garage. All the business with calling the insurance and then waiting for their guy to come and give the estimation of damage and then by then I’ll have to leave the car an extra day because of their ridiculous working hours. The insurance doesn’t open until 9:00 and the garage closes at 4:00 in the afternoon. I’m really mad!

Life is meaningful

I’m not happy about this. It’s an inconvenience. Especially now, when I’m trying to be disciplined about my schedule. But isn’t this just what I’ve been learning, to also know how to rearrange myself around the unexpected? Actually I can take Maria Marshall’s ebook, Prism of Meaning with me to the garage and read it all day if I have to. I can use this as an oasis of time, a permission to relax and take a break from my usual schedule. It’s a process with cars that can take time but I’ll just take things as they come and do whatever I have to do. Thank God no one was hurt. And the man in the car behind me was so considerate, asking if I was okay and apologizing. And I’m glad the policeman stopped because then I knew where to find the woman I went into so that she could get my details and make a claim. She was also very nice. That stuff must have fallen off the back of a big truck. I have to find out who to contact so they’ll move it. It’s good that this happened. It will teach me to keep a safer distance from the car in front of me so that even if someone stops abruptly I’ll have enough time to stop.

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