My grandmother no longer drives,
so I use her car. It has a disability parking permit, which allows me to park
anywhere I want without paying. I feel a little guilty about it and thought
maybe I should give it up. On the other hand, am I doing anything wrong by just
leaving it there?
I can come up with several
arguments in favor of keeping the permit, and only one argument in favor of
giving it up.
Let's look at the arguments in
favor of keeping the permit:
- You already pay taxes, so why pay
- You never claimed to be disabled.
If the parking cops get the wrong idea, that's their problem.
- Parking costs are highway
robbery. It's a way for municipalities to get rich.
- You often do errands for your
grandmother with her car, so she is the one benefiting.
- People use disability parking
permits that don't belong to them all the time. The city knows this and allows
for it in their budgeting.
- The car still belongs to your
grandmother, who rightfully had the disability permit. So why get rid of it? Do
you need to purge the car of any trace of her? What if her music is still in
the CD player, must you throw that away too?
But after all those arguments for
keeping it, I can think of a single argument in favor of giving it up:
- It is dishonest and probably
The human mind has an amazing
talent. We take something that is clearly wrong, and come up with creative
explanations as to why it is right. We call this talent “justification.” Almost
everyone has a dishonest side, an inner voice that attempts to whitewash
wrongdoing and justify immorality.
But we have another side to us
that is honest and upright, the voice of integrity that wants to do what's
right. After all the justifications, we know the truth.
The Torah (Deut. 6:18) tells us, "And you shall do what is proper and good..." You know what you need to do.
Give up the permit. And thank G‑d that you don't need it.