Thursday, February 21, 2013

In Crisis, We Learn Our True Nature


My Nissan Juke after an accident this afternoon.

At 4.20PM I left the office to go to Vihara Dhamma Sundara for an interfaith tree planting ceremony. While I was waiting for the light to go green next to Centre Point, Purwosari, there were two motorcycles colliding with each other next to my car. I saw the collision and it seemed to be in slow motion until one of the motorcycles fell to left hitting the right side of my car. I did not dare to move because I might drag the motorcycle and injure the rider. I waited until people came out to help the two riders and told me to move to the side of the road.

After I parked on the side of the road, I went out to check the damage. I saw black streak on my right doors. One of the security guard that helped the rider came up to see the damage too. The black streak was just paint from the motorcycle and my car was not scratched nor dented. I sighed with relief.

The security guard asked me whether I wanted to pursue the case with the motorcycle riders. I told him that I wanted to get their details because I might need it for insurance. He persuaded me not to pursue the case, but I said I needed to do it.

I walked with the security guard to meet one of the riders, he was not injured physically, however his motor did have some damage. He was cooperative when I asked him about his detail and phone number. I told him that I might not pursue this matter because there was only superficial damage. 

The rider whose motorcycle fell on my car ran away. Perhaps he was afraid and he chose to run away, instead of taking responsibility for his action.

How did I feel? After the initial little shock, I was a bit worried about extent of damage to the car. After I saw that there was no real damage, I felt relief. Even if there was a real damage, the insurance would have covered it.

It was after I went back into the car and continued driving that I realized that I did not even ask whether the motorcycle rider was hurt from the accident. It did not even cross my mind to ask for his well- being. Suddenly I realized how I had put things above people. It was all business for me…no financial loss…no worries. I discovered something about myself today. I thought I had enough compassion towards people but when the real thing happened, it was evident that I did not really have it.


In crisis, we learn our true nature.

Anything that happens in our life can help us discover an aspect within ourselves. Either we like it or not, the simple acknowledgement that we have it inside of us hopefully helps us to learn, grow and be better human beings.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B. Com, CFP

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Right Not to Buy


One of my nephew’s sitters went to a baby shop to buy some milk. While she was in the store, she saw a butterfly pin. She thought that it was cheap for Rp4,500 (USD0.5) so she brought it to the cashier. When the cashier scanned the barcode, it was not Rp4,500 but Rp14,500, more than three times the price! She was feeling embarrassed to say no and she decided to pay for the pin.

If this happened to you, what would you have done?

  1. Pay for it, or
  2. Cancel the purchase

What if the price is Rp45,000 and Rp145,000?

Perhaps it’s easier to cancel the purchase when the amount is significantly bigger. Rp10,000 is cheap to save your face, but Rp100,000? Is it worth it?

I remembered my own story when I was a teenager studying in Australia. National Geographic store recently opened and I went there to check it out. I saw a stethoscope and I was considering of buying it. The price of the stethoscope was quite expensive considering the amount of pocket money I had. While I was thinking whether to buy it, taking it out of the box to see whether it was of good quality and the price did reflect the value, one of the store attendant came to me. I thought perhaps I was not allowed to take it out of the box, so he came to warn me. When he came, he asked me with what I heard was a demeaning tone, “Are you going to buy it? Can you afford to buy it?” At that moment, my ego went nuts. I thought nobody should look down on me like that, so with emotions running high, I told him, “Yes, I will buy it.” I went to the cashier and took almost all the money that I had in my wallet to pay for it. After I went home, I had a big buyer’s remorse!

At that moment I learned a lesson, to be unafraid to cancel a purchase and that I have the right not to buy and I won’t let the store attendant to “bully” me into buying something.  

Have you had a similar experience? What have you learned? Please share in the comments.

Learn and Grow!