I look crappy in orange.
While I was out on the job today, I heard a thud at the next intersection. I looked up and a woman was laying in the middle of the intersection, her bicycle strewn across the road in pieces and a small, tan car hovering over her like a predator fixed on prey. I didn’t see the accident though I did see the aftermath.
An elderly man exited the car.
I ran toward the accident. Two others appeared on the scene about the same time. One man started directing traffic, I went to the woman who was, by no surprise, crying and holding her leg. The third man stood by watching… what? I don’t know. The elderly man from the car began picking up pieces of the bicycle. I’m not sure he asked the woman if she was alright.
A few minutes later,
EMS people appeared from the nearby casino.
Once EMS arrived, I was no longer needed to comfort the woman. I decided to help direct traffic as I was wearing a bright orange shirt with reflective striped stuff all over it. We do what we can with what tools we have.
The voyeurs began showing up soon after.
The whole thing made me wonder about decisions. We are the sum total of all the decisions we have made to this point in our life. It dictates our experiences and even dictates how we view those experiences. We choose to choose and in the event we choose not to choose, we have made a choice.
The only way to improve our lives (presuming we want to improve) is to make different choices.
I could have chosen to ignore the accident and continue on my merry way. I could have chosen to be the voyeur as many people in the neighbourhood had chosen. I could have chosen to berate the elderly man. There are other choices I could have made. Mine was to get involved.
I cannot improve myself by standing on the sidelines and watching humanity rumble by like an out of control freight train.
I think it’s important to make decisions that improve who I am. If those choices align with my core values, I will feel good about the decision. If I feel good about the decision, my self confidence will increase. If my self confidence increases, I am more likely to make good core value decisions again in the future.
And the cycle goes on.
The opposite is true, of course. If I make decisions that betray my core values, my self confidence, and self respect, deteriorate. Eventually I make decisions which are not only destructive to me, they become destructive to others and the relationships I have with them. The rut becomes so deep that climbing out seems like a gargantuan task.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
I had only one choice when I saw the accident. That would be the choice that aligned with my core values. Help in any capacity I can. Be in the story, not in the audience. Dive into the fray with both feet… and bring compassion with you. Do the best you can with what you know.
It matters not which was the cause of the accident... the woman riding on a sidewalk or the elderly man not paying attention. Both need compassion. From what I could discern, they both made mistaken choices... one riding a bicycle on a sidewalk on the wrong side of the road and the other not paying attention while driving a two thousand pound low speed missile. The looks on both their faces spoke volumes.
I didn’t choke up until the drive home a few minutes later when I remembered the shock on the woman’s face and the vacant, mouth agape stare of the old man. Both of their fates may ride on their next choice.
And I still look like crap in orange.