You’re in a car, speeding down the highway, unaware that a bridge is out along the path you are taking. Do you want someone to tell you?
Let’s assume the answer is yes. (This is a faulty assumption because, as I am about to cover in this blog, most people don’t want to know.)
Anyway, if the answer is yes, to what lengths would you like bystanders to go to get you to stop? If a guy standing beside the road, frantically waving his arms isn’t enough, how far would you like for him to go in this life or death struggle, especially considering it’s your life or death we’re talking about here?
Would you be OK with him, as you speed by and he reads his book, if he just thinks to himself, “Somebody ought’a stop that guy”? How about if he looks up from the book and ineffectually raises his hand as if to say, “Um, you there, you might want to—ah, never mind, he’s already past”? Would that be sufficient?
Or, would you prefer that he take extraordinary measures to save your life? What if he were to go all Green Arrow on you and shoot out your tires with a special arrow that wraps a tungsten cable around the axel and jerks you to a violent stop which, possibly, gives you whiplash but saves your life as plunging over the cliff where the bridge used to be would lead to certain death?
Whiplash or death. If it’s your choice, which do you choose?
The sign says “Bridge Out”, but what if you doubt the sign? Maybe you’ve been burned in the past. A friend of mine was tooling through the panhandle of
one evening when he got flagged down by a trucker
who seemed pretty frantic. According to
the trucker, there was a horrible wreck about a quarter mile up the road, at
least one dead. My friend gets on his
cell and calls the highway patrol then goes up to see if he can lend aid. Oklahoma
There was no wreck. No body. Just clear highway. The OKHP gets there and finds the same thing. Check over the trucker and, while he’s not drunk or high, he is sleep deprived. Apparently, he imagined it all.
But if it ever happens again, can my friend afford to ignore the warning signs just because of that time he got burned? No, he’ll heed them because what if there really is a wreck up ahead and he comes barreling through at 70 mph? Better to slow down and see if there’s anything to the warning.
Not everyone thinks that way. They listen to warnings about impending disaster and ignore it because there have been times in the past when the disaster never materialized. Or it happened to someone else. And who gets to define “disaster”? This man over here is saying the bridge really is out, but it’s not a problem so just drive on through.
Who to listen to? Should we bother to listen at all?
What if, though, we find out the warning signs were accurate but it’s too late to avoid disaster?