The other evening, I finished up my shopping at the supermarket and was heading home in my car. The main lighting in the car park was off, which must have distracted me somewhat as I had to fumble to get into the car, and then strain to see the keyhole to turn the ignition.
Anyway, I was on the main road just outside the supermarket, heading back, when suddenly a car pulled out from a sideroad and almost hit me side on. He braked and pulled back into the side street. He also had the damn nerve to honk me.
So I’m thinking things like, “Idiot! Why don’t you look where you’re going? And then YOU honk at ME?!”
But I’m also wondering, how it could happen? It’s like he didn’t even see me. Is he blind or am I that hard to see?
And then I noticed something interesting. As I looked down at my dashboard, I noticed that my headlights were completely off! Yes, I could see the road okay because there were streetlights. But I guess that nobody could see me coming so very well!
I was driving like a bullet in the dark, unseen.
Hmmm. So who’s the idiot now, I wonder?!…
I have to admit I felt more than a trifle guilty about it. There could have been a really bad accident if I had carried on much longer. Luckily, I had only just left the supermarket, and even more luckily, my attention had been immediately alerted to the problem by this incident.
However, as I was thinking about it, I realized that once again, it is a very good life lesson; not just for me but for us all…
How many of us are driving along at the steering wheel of our lives, absolutely certain that we are right in whatever we are doing… when in reality we are driving with our headlights off? Are there not areas of our lives where we are doing this, getting negative feedback from the outside world, i.e. like the guy who nearly hit me and had “the cheek” to honk at ME, and yet we carry on all the same, just swearing that we are RIGHT?! Then one day, we crash and burn and scratch our heads and wonder why?
I thought it was a great analogy because we can drive along in our lives, not examining what we are doing, not being as AWARE as we should be. Then one day, reality collides with our fantasy and we are left to pick up the pieces, and wonder what the heck happened. This could be relationships, career, personal growth, attitude to money, whatever.
Rather than think “Idiot” about the other guy, I was left asking, “SO who’s the idiot now?”
In fact, the guy who nearly hit me was symbolic of all those people who warn us we are in danger when we take a wrong path, but who we filter out and ignore because we don’t want to hear what they have to say. Luckily for me in this instance, he appeared on the scene and awakened me to something I would not have seen otherwise until perhaps it was too late.
Maybe the lesson is, switch on your headlights BEFORE you have the crash! In our lives it means, examine what you are doing in full awareness and make sure that it is what you really want to be doing. Realize that what you do has consequences, even if they are not the ones you knowingly intended! Every lapse, even momentary as mine was, can have enormous results. Your life interacts with others, so what you do matters, even if you think it is all your own business and nobody else’s. We are all connected in so many ways.
So, make sure that you too are not a dark bullet in the night, heading for certain crash and burn. Switch the lights on, get awareness, see what is coming, and let others see your light!