“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” Philippians 4:6.
Boom! It was a very loud noise from the rear of my car. The shaking was real and intense, and I felt in my hands on the steering wheel. Oblivious of the Monday morning traffic. I just stopped the car and went behind to check.
I had been knocked from behind by a man who looked to be in his late 50s, tall donning a blue suit. I looked at my car. And to his. And then to mine. It was clear, I had been knocked by a reckless driver and my car had taken the biggest damage on my hind bumper. Now the traffic jam situation was worsening. I looked at the damage and estimated Ugx. 100,000 or there about. I took pictures of the scene. And pictures of car that had knocked me. I have seen people tend to get to their senses once they know you can trace them. I leaned slightly on the drivers’ window. The man was very apologetic, explaining personal problems. Considering the spot of the incident, I decided to ask for the man’s driving ID. I wanted to see his degree of cooperation. He gave it to me without any hesitation. I looked at his ID, then at him directly and we made eye contact. I warned him to drive carefully and leave his problems outside of the driving seat.
I let him go. Took the car to garage and it cost only Ugx. 50,000. With hindsight, I made the right decision. Of course, Ugx. 50,000 is a lot of money in today’s speak. However, at may level, I lose a lot of money when people see me holding someone by the neck or with Police men in tow trying to extract just Ugx. 100,000 to repair a car. It is just not the best use of one’s time.
When you are a driver on Ugandan roads, sooner than later you will knock someone or be knocked. Much as we must take a tough stance to bring the reckless drivers to account, holding up traffic as you try to process compensation or going to Police in case of a stubborn taxi driver may not be the best solution. Granted, some accidents and knocks must be reported to police to handle the matter as provided in the traffic laws and other road safety guidelines. You must have the ability to ‘read the moment’, make options, act and move on.
Once I was driving along the 2nd street industrial area. I don’t know where my minds were. In an instant I had knocked a car directly in front of me. The car was very old with a driver in mid 60s. This man made it difficult for me to solve the issue. He called the police. They looked at the damage and it was a little scratch which by the looks of the car could have been there before the knock. The fact is I had slightly hit on his car from behind and I was in the wrong the fact I never tried to deny. He asked for Ugx. 500,000 to which I insisted we take the car to any garage and they establish for us a fee to repair the car. He insisted on his own mechanic, whom he called. His mechanic asked for Ugx. 400,000 to repair the damage which I obviously protested. After some 20 minutes, the traffic police officer arrived. He was clear headed he suggested that we settle this matter amicably, guiding that a payment of Ugx. 50,000 would suffice as full compensation for the almost invisible dent. I was happy to hand over Ugx. 50,000. And that is how the matter ended.
Be it at home, work or in your personal life. The skill of ignoring small issues will set you free to focus on the bigger picture which you need to succeed. .
Bernabas M. Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, helps plant the seed of transformation. Visit www.mustaphamugisa.com to start your journey of transformation.