“You cannot cover a hot desert with leather, but you can cover your feet.”
– Buddhist Addige
“He was right, dead right as he drove a long. But he was just as dead as had been wrong.”
I rolled my ankle yesterday walking to work. I wasn’t looking, and I slipped off a four inch curb where the dirt had eroded leaving a large divot. At first I thought I was fine, it had been so long since I had an ankle sprain. I started work but about 5 hours later (my part time job involves a lot of standing and walking), It got so painful I had to go home. It was actually quite a heroic feat as I had to painfully limp a combination of about a kilometer from work all the way home. I remember for a short time being furious with the contractors, the groundskeepers, superintendent. Any group responsible for letting the ground sink around that stretch of sidewalk.
It hit me, however, that no amount of raging and bargaining will undo what was essentially my mistake. I should have been looking where I was going. Now consider if things were more serious. What if someone was brutally injured from the combination of an unsafe hazard, and “not-looking-where-you’re-going”. It could be 100% the fault of the person who made the hazard, but will that thought heal a broken arm any faster? Making it someone else’s ‘fault’ does not undue the physical damage, and it certainly doesn’t grant you permission to live a life ignorant of hazards.
This mode of thinking, I realized, informs my driving. I have had complete maniacs swerve into my lane, butt across three lanes of traffic. Every kind of imaginable rule-breaking, thoughtless chicanery. I have yet to get caught up in an accident (thank God) due to my vigilance and not my trust that it will be someone else’s “fault”, and that if I’m driving within the rules, that’s all that matters. It’s not. I would rather get completely cut off, than spitefully expose myself to an accident because it wasn’t my “fault.”