Preparation and common sense

The Way I See it by Don West

watched a news documentary recently, and one has to be careful when using the term “news”. Certainly, we all know that news stories can be slanted to portray the reporter’s and/or employer’s take on a particular news event.  I have seen documentaries in the past that were so obviously slanted that factual information was nearly completely overshadowed by sensationalism but their goal is to sell advertising, not to necessarily stick to the facts.

This documentary was about a tremendous fire in California a year or so ago, and the devastation was widespread, including 15 people who died in the fires. The account of these fires centered around several families, some of the firefighters and others who contributed something to the story.  Because my brother and sister-in-law live in an area of Colorado that is much about beautiful mountains and lots of trees, we have been privy to their preparation for fire, and some very close encounters with forest fires in their area. Just like living in hurricane territory, one can make preparation for possible evacuation and/or protection of your properties in the event that the threat can become an actual event. 

One of the common sense mistakes I heard time and again in this account of the tragedies retold was the statement, “I couldn’t find my keys”. First of all, when in panic mode, there are many things that can happen. When your wife says, “My water broke and it’s time to go to the hospital,”  one would think that the keys are hanging near the exit door, not under the cushions on the couch or lost in the newspapers and mail on the kitchen counter. One would think that those who remembered to gather important papers, pictures, Boob Boo Bear the dog, the cat, the bird, and the prom dress, would also think about where the keys might be.  Common sense would say that the keys should always be in exactly the same place when not in the ignition of the car.  A fire or other emergency can happen any time and you should be prepared. 

There are many common sense issues that people ignore on a regular basis because we are naïve enough to think that we are invisible and bulletproof and that it won’t happen to us.  Therefore, we go through life driving with no headlights in low light or inclement weather conditions.  We don’t wear seat belts, we text and drive, adjust the radio, pull out in front of oncoming traffic, follow too closely, fail to use turn signals at all or too close to the actual turn and we speed.  Not only do we risk life and limb, but our lackadaisical attitudes also jeopardize those who love us the most. 

How many of us want to attend the funeral of a loved one because he couldn’t find the keys, or she didn’t see the oncoming truck because she was texting?  How many of you want to care for someone who is physically or mentally disabled because of an accident that was completely avoidable with the use of a little common sense? How many want to attend the funeral of a spouse, son, daughter or sibling because they didn’t think it was important enough to be prepared — who didn’t think their decision would affect anyone but themselves? 

Will tragedy cross your path today?  Could it have been avoided with preparation and common sense?

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Posted by on Aug 17 2017. Filed under Editorial Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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