After a 1-2 hour inquisition over the phone, another long period of haggling, and resigning ourselves to our fate, we finally settled our battle with U—– yesterday. They are now regarded as “those of whom we do not speak” (reference to movie, “The Village”). Those of whom we do not speak reimbursed us for some of our expenses, but not all of them, and they didn’t give us monetary compensation for all of the trouble they caused us. Their line was, “You completed your move, we called towing companies (so it doesn’t matter if no one showed up), you didn’t call us when the antifreeze spilled during the day following your tire problem, you have always spoken to a human being whenever you called us (regardless of how we were treated), and so you should be satisfied and expect nothing from us.” GRRRR. But we are at the place where we want to be done with it. They made their offer (they actually tried to give us VIP dollars to use on our “next” rental from their fiendish company!), we haggled, they give a little bit of ground (but not much!), the final offer was given, we protested, and then we accepted. The nightmare is over and I feel like I’ve learned a few things.
One of the big things I learned is just how easy it is for battles like ours to consume your life. When you have been wronged, lied to, and cheated, you want to take the necessary steps to get what belongs to you. As a human being, a consumer, etc. you think that you are owed something. The problem comes when receiving just compensation drags along and your nemesis has no desire to give you anything.
Your options are to take the blow, lick your wounds, and get on with your life, or to fight for whatever you perceive to be justice. During our feud with those of whom we do not speak, I found myself fighting so much and thinking so much about the situation that it really threatened my peace of mind. Every delay was to the advantage of my nemesis. Every call not returned to us, every kink in the process seemed to make the situation bigger and bigger, making me feel more wronged and more deserving of justice. We simply got to the point that we are dealing with a company that had to be aggressively sued and pursued in order to pay a guy $1000 for when his steering wheel stopped working and his truck went off the road. To get what we wanted was going to cost too much, so we took what we could get.
This teaches me that every confrontation, no matter how big or small, with injustice has a mighty big price tag attached to it. You have to be willing to sacrifice a part of yourself to see justice done, whether it’s for yourself, your family, or another group of people. Whether fighting for the release of a wrongfully accused inmate or the rights of an oppressed nation, the process requires tremendous commitment and hours of time. I don’t know how someone could simultaneously work to bring about justice on a large scale and still have some kind of personal/private life.
In addition, when you feel like you’ve been shafted out of some $$, your faith is really tested. Does God WANT me to have this money? How important is this amount of money in the grand scheme of life on earth or life in the Kingdom of God? As hard as it is to let go of what I consider to be rightfully mine, I have had to let go of my rights in this case, fight off some bitterness, and let it go. While working on our home yesterday it hit me that God is also preparing a place for me. I find that hard to really hang on to, but what else do I have?