Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Life is precious
How many times have we heard the above refrain? It's one thing to be intellectually aware of the concept, but are we living it; are we mindful as we go through our day that everything could change in the blink of an eye?
I'm still reeling today after witnessing a major traffic accident yesterday, caused by the car directly in front of me. That was a little too close for comfort and like I said, I have plenty on my mind. ~ Life is precious.
Do you tell your loved ones that you love them before hanging up the phone or leaving to run an errand, or are you in such a rush that you take for granted you'll be seeing them again or will catch them later? Do you treat your loved ones with kindness and respect? Do you spend quality time with your loved ones? There are no guarantees. Do it NOW. It doesn't cost a dime and it's time you will NEVER regret.
Yesterday I was doing a few last minute Christmas errands and yes, I'm just as anxious as most of you to be done with those chores so I can relax and enjoy the holiday. We're all busy and it's easy to think our agenda is more important than that of someone else. But as the chain of events unfolded before my eyes yesterday it really reinforced the fact that life is precious and can be taken from us or forever changed in an instant.
A train backed up a major intersection, but I didn't let it affect me. I made some mental notes as I waited at the green light. When the train cleared, I'd be able to cross the intersection and continue on my way. An impatient truck on the cross street made the decision that he needed that jump ahead of me, though, and drove up behind the backed up lane. Really?! I sat there contemplating how rude some people are, but before long the train ended and I moved along. The aforementioned truck raced ahead, on the rain slick road, and I shook my head as I saw him and his passenger rubber-necking a stalled vehicle on the opposite side of the road. There was a toddler in between himself and the woman passenger. The three of them were talking to each other and the driver kept taking his eyes off the road as he conversed.
By the next light, everything changed. The light turned "pink" as the other witness later told the police, and the man in the truck decided at the very last minute to brake. He slid clear into the intersection, and hit the car who was turning on the green light. The next in line to turn hit that car in front of him, so we had 3 vehicles in the intersection. It all happened so fast and scared the living daylights out of me. The impact was HARD. Two of us pulled over as witnesses, and to make a long story short, the car who was hit was totalled and the truck who caused the accident was still driveable. Naturally. Everyone was ok, thank God.
I was SO shaken. I was emotional the rest of the day, for so many reasons. The road I'm speaking of has a bad reputation for wrecks. Doug & I see a close call nearly every single day we travel that road. However, it's the DRIVERS who are to blame. In reflection, it seems to be a sign of the times we are living in. I literally don't understand folks anymore. Don't EVEN get me started on the cell phone ban while driving. I'm ALL for it.
The pickup truck driver wasn't on a cell phone yesterday, but just think: what if he had been? What if *I* had been yacking away on my mobile phone and my reaction time not been as fast as it was? The fellow in the pickup was having a hard enough time staying focused as it was. I have a hard time believing that most of us cannot live without taking a call until such time as we are off the roads. Life is precious~
When we are travelling the roads, we don't have the RIGHT to be less than focused. We owe that to our passengers and to everyone else out there. I'm as guilty of this as anyone else, mind you. There was a time when I had a 30 minute commute home from a job in the evenings, and I'd use that time to call one of my sons and catch up, as they live out of state. I justified it as using my time wisely. I'm ashamed now to admit that, but many of you can relate, I am sure.
My ephiphany came when I thought of the chain of events and how each of us, through our daily actions create a cause and effect that could alter another's life. We do not live in a bubble. Though you may not realize it, we are ALL connected. We have the ability to create positivity or negativity; the choice is ours.
Understandably, some accidents cannot be avoided, but in this case it could have been prevented. Leave 10 minutes earlier. Arrive 15 minutes late. In the scheme of things, it won't matter and it just might make all the difference.
Life is precious~
We must treasure every moment we are given for we never know when it may be the last. Cherish those who are near and dear to your heart. Slow down and savor the minutes. Show love and compassion, patience and selflessness and be part of the change we need to see.