The Life and Death Choice that Resulted in Death
We all make stupid decisions or, perhaps, I should say choices. “Decisions” sound as if you listed pros and cons and then made a selection of the best thing to do. “Choices” is something you can make on the spur of the moment.
When I was driving home from Atlanta on Sunday, there was a car in front of me swerving back and forth. A couple of times she (I did get close enough to see her) missed the 18 wheeler to the right of her by inches. A few minutes later I thought she was going to hit the concrete barrier to the other side of the freeway. That would have put me and a slew of other cars and huge trucks crashing into each other.
To say I was getting worried was an understatement. I was looking for a way out of the unusual amount of traffic that Sunday morning. (People were returning home after the Alabama vs LSU football game.) Finally, she seemed to be staying in her lane. I took a huge chance and punched the gas peddle to get beyond her. That’s when I discovered the driver was a she and SHE was texting. Hopefully, she made it home and no one was hurt or killed.
A few minutes later I passed a black SUV with a bumper sticker at the top of the back window. “My brother was killed by a distracted driver.” That young woman made a choice to text when she knew it was dangerous. She figured it wouldn’t happen to her. After all, she was being careful. As I see written… NOT. I can’t believe her passenger wasn’t wetting his or her pants. Texting may have been happening from that seat, also. Texting in the passenger seat is allowed.
When I got home I heard the news that one of my nephew’s dear friends wasn’t so lucky. He was engaged in behavior that “everyone” knew was dangerous. There certainly is enough information out there for “everyone” to know that what he was doing was tempting death. He tempted one time too many and death grabbed him. His beautiful life is gone. His family and friends are grieving. The world doesn’t get to discover what a gentle and wonderful person he was. He was also very bright… and very stupid. He died for his stupid choice because he felt invincible. “It won’t happen to me” can be pathetic last words.
Think about the stupid things you did yesterday that could have resulted in your death. Perhaps you became impatient and crossed the street earlier than was safe. Maybe you allowed yourself to be distracted while driving. You and I do dumb things every day that “but for the grace of God go I” into the grave, or the hospital.
There is a balance between taking risks and being stupid. Life is full of risks. You can’t progress far if you don’t take some. There are those risks that are just stupid… texting while driving, drinking while driving, taking drugs, walking on the edge of the slick cliff. There are actions that appear risky to those who don’t have skill, that are not as risky to those who do have skill. Know the difference.
My deepest sympathy to Alex’s family and friends. I’m sure that the young man I once met would have made another choice if he knew his death would be the result. He didn’t think it could happen to him.