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There Are No Accidents, Only Realities - Grasshopper

I remember years ago when a traffic reporting service to our radio station changed the way it reported cars banging into each other. They stopped calling them “accidents” and started calling them “crashes.” “There’s a car crash on 95 North at the Thurbers Avenue curve.”

Many of what we call accidents can be prevented from happening again with some pre-planning. Not so much with realities. They are so plentiful, varied, and unpredictable that planning for them is as silly as trying to dry up the ocean with paper towels.

 

Realities defy statistics and aren’t that predictable. For example, who on New Year’s Eve 2020 would have foreseen that in 6 months almost all Americans would be required to wear a face mask when entering a supermarket? Yet, it’s a reality in July of 2020.

 

Years ago, I had an aversion to the bumper sticker “Shit Happens” when it became popular, because it only focused on the down side of reality and denied personal responsibility. A more accurate and inclusive phrase would have been “Reality Happens.”

 

Realities happen every second of every day and the most useful way I find for dealing with them is responding vs. reacting. A reaction takes no thought. It’s us on automatic pilot. A response takes a moment of reflection before we do what we’re going to do. It’s in that slight pause that we come up with more choices, ones that serve us better than our standard reaction.

 

“Accident” has become a reaction word we’ve learned to excuse our behavior. We use it to deny ownership of our actions, which are realities, not accidents.

 

Do you know anyone who can’t admit they made a mistake (a reality)? That’s someone who doesn’t believe in personal culpability, which, sadly, includes most of us. We often look for a scapegoat to “bah” us out of responsibility.

 

I realize I’m on a soapbox here but I heartily endorse bringing back the phrase “My Bad” into our reality and our vocabulary. The reality is this: by doing so, we’ll prevent a lot of future accidents.

 

All the best,

John


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