The Lady that Hit Our Windshield
“When one bases his life on principle, 99 percent of his decisions are already made.”
The rush to get home was normal for us. My dad’s foreman was driving the truck and we were returning from a long work day out in the sun and dirt. I was about 17 years old and we had a long drive ahead of us.
There was a motorcycle ahead of us on this back country two lane road so the foreman eased into the passing lane and sped up to pass her. As we approached the motorcycle to pass, it slowed, and without a blinker or hand signal, turned left immediately in front of us. The lady on the motorcycle saw us as she turned and instead of accelerating across the road, tried unsuccessfully to turn back into the lane from whence she came. The foreman slammed on the brakes and when we hit her, she was pointing directly away from us. The rear fender of the motorcycle hit the grill on the front of the truck and luckily froze the bike upright. The driver was flung from the bike and landed on the hood of the truck, rolling all the way against our windshield. The truck continued to brake and as it came to a stop the lady then rolled off the windshield and on to the road. We were in shock.
I could not believe it when the lady got back up. She was a sturdy lady and apparently ok. When the trooper arrived, it was discovered that the lady was underage and not approved to operate the motorcycle. She had been turning into her driveway and was apparently in some pretty big trouble. We left with our blood still racing from what had just happened.
There are several HighFive Your Life principles that could be gleaned from this story but the one that I would like to develop is regarding the wrecks that are sometimes caused by our indecision. I am not sure what would have happened if the lady had just continued across into her driveway instead of trying to turn back around. She may have got by just in time, but it all happened so fast it is just too hard to say. In emergency situations our quick decisions and reactions may save or hurt a life. Those are tough calls for sure but not the ones that I would like to focus on now.
I am more interested in what we do with the choices that are before us when we have more time to contemplate and evaluate. Let me add one more story to this discussion.
I remember as a child going on an airplane flight with my family. It was on a major carrier and we were allowed priority seating because we were a family with kids. At that time there were no assigned seats so when we got on the plane we could choose from any seat available. We were the first ones on and the plane was wide open! I ran and sat down next to a window and then began to wonder if that really was the best seat. So up I jumped up and found another one. I do not remember how many seats I tried but I do remember how hard it was to make a decision because I basically had too many options.
Every day we are faced with decisions. How do you make decisions? Do you jump to quick decisions without all the information? Are you indecisive because you do not have enough information? Are you indecisive because it appears that you have too many options? Do you make a lot of good decisions or are you often wishing you had done something else? A decision to not make a decision because you need more information is not indecision. Indecision results when you have the best information possible and you either lack clarity of focus or the guts to choose.
Decision making is a skill that is developed over time. It is a skill that is honed by countless wrong decisions and having to live with the consequences. It is developed by watching those around you who have, through their experience, developed a reliable decision making skill. A HighFive Your Life principle is to make the art of decision making a daily concern. In your quiet moments, evaluate the decisions you have made and consequent results. Ponder your seemingly small decisions and also the tough ones. What did you learn about your style; the process you used to render a decision? How can it be improved?
I have made decisions only to see someone wiser than me make a different and better decision given the same circumstances. I am convinced that a person who goes through this process of true and sincere evaluation of their decision making ability will begin to ask in prayer or in silent meditation: “help me have wisdom beyond my years”.
This world would be a lot better off if we all became better decision makers. It is worth our very best effort.
HighFive Your Life Principle: Make the art of decision making a daily concern. Personally evaluate this skill and seek wisdom to improve it.
Please share your comments regarding this principle, add any other principle that you discovered in the stories I shared or offer any advice you think might be helpful to others that may read this blog. Thank you for keeping your comments appropriate for all readers. HighFive Your Life…Gary