- lying may be a part of human nature
- it is difficult to tell whether someone, even a child, is lying or not.
This morning when I parked my car at work, the young man in the car in the next parking bay called out, “I’m stuck.”
I asked him what the problem was, and he explained that he had parked too close to the car beside him and couldn’t get out.
I walked around his car and saw that there was a gap of about 15 centimetres between the two cars, not enough to open a door.
As I glanced along between them, I noticed that the side mirror of the other car, which had reversed into the park, was broken. I said nothing, and, so far as I am aware my facial expression didn’t change. However, the young man immediately protested, “I didn’t do that. I promise you, I didn’t do that!”
I didn’t respond to his remark but thought, “Yeah right!” I then proceeded to guide him out of his car park by suggesting he tuck in his side mirror and straighten his wheels. He was then able to reverse out without hitting the car beside him, and drive back in giving himself enough room to get out of his car.
Although he stated his innocence, I didn’t know if he had caused the damage to the mirror on the other car.
- Why did he protest immediately when I’d hardly had time to notice it, let alone mention it? Wouldn’t he have done better to say nothing?
- Was it too much of a coincidence that the car should be damaged in a way that may have been caused by this young man trying to reverse out?
- Why would he have even noticed the damage to the mirror or think it worthy of mention? Did his protests not imply his guilt?
What was I to do?
If he was guilty he should leave a note for the driver, apologizing and giving his details. If he was guilty and didn’t do that, should I leave a note telling the driver his licence number and explaining what I suspected? What if I supplied that information and he was innocent?
What then? I’d be telling a lie.
Call me gullible but I do prefer to take people at face value and believe in their honesty. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a suspicious mind. However, I had no way of ascertaining, without access to transdermal optical imaging, as mentioned by Kang Lee whether this young man was telling the truth or a lie. So I wished him a good day and left it at that.
When I returned to my car in the afternoon, both cars were still there. I checked the young man’s side mirror to see if it was damaged. I thought that if he had damaged the other car’s mirror with his, then his mirror would likely be damaged too. But it was not.
Was he telling the truth? Was it just a coincidence? I’ll never know. But it did give me something to think about.
What do you think?
PS The characters in this story are real, as are the incidents. It was a young male driver, and not me, who was having difficulty parking! And me who helped him!
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.