The Lady that Hit Our Windshield

The Lady that Hit Our Windshield

When one bases his life on principle, 99 percent of his decisions are already made.”

  Author Unknown

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

17 thoughts on “The Lady that Hit Our Windshield”

  1. It is amazing how just being aware of how you make decisions puts some things in perspective. Sometimes I hesitate to make a decision that in the big picture doesn’t even matter, but I waste so much time worrying if I am making the right choice. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I think your thoughts on decision making are very profound. I know when faced with a decision that is going to affect my future, I have to make a “T-Square” to list all the pros and cons. This usually gives me a correct path to follow that is right for me. It makes one ponder the results and consequenses from deciding the best route to take. Prayer is always a part of that process and getting advice from those trusted, wisdom-filled, caring people in your life will cause you to validate your decision or may give you cause to re-think your position. Loved your stories, advice and looking forward to your next blog!!
    XOXO

  3. Such a good lesson. I often fail to commit to my decisions—so I end up repeatedly making the decision in different settings/situations. But occasionally I make decision and really commit to it and then everything else just seems likes an application of that decision—not a new situation/decision. Your story makes me want to commit to my choices—I think it would make life easier and more principled. Love the blog!

  4. Very insightful blog. I appreciate it. I would add that, in addition to applying clear values to our decisions, just generally thinking ahead can make a world of difference. (What if you had decided ahead of time you wanted a window seat in the bulkhead? The indecision while boarding is gone and you have a great seat!) I would like to know how many people deal with this problem–I know the right decision, but for whatever reason, it is not what I want to do. How do you make yourself execute hard decisions?

    1. Being human, I think we sometimes postpone the hardest decisions to the point where there are no other options besides that hard decision. Then we make it. Sometimes we make decisions that have a signicant impact on us or others but they are not hard decisions to make because they are just undeniably correct. The hardest decisions take place when we think we have other options and we keep trying to rediscover a better option…perhaps one that creats less wake. I think the skill to acquire is to be able so see through the deceptive options and get to the “I have no options left” sooner than later….when you figure out how to do that let me know!

  5. Great write! It’s very refreshing to read and participate in a forum of reflection and positivity! Thank you for sharing, Gary.
    Of course, no one person has perfect decisiveness. I believe it’s the passion and impulsive human spirit that drives our decisions to be what they are! How else can we progress?!?
    In my life, I’ve found that I can only obtain wisdom from my choices once I’ve obtained the accountability for them. For good, and for bad! Meaning, giving yourself a “HighFive” pat on the back when deserved, or a “HighFive” smack to the forehead when I’ve deserved it! One way or the other, I’ve progressed. I’ve moved forward.
    I believe there’s a higher power that creates millions of positive opportunities for us, as individuals, to take advantage of, or to neglect. What we do with those opportunities is “what we’re made out of”.
    I share with you a principle that I recently learned from a very old man who was buying groceries ahead of me at the checkout line. He could barely walk, barely talk. He looked rugged, as though time and chance had been cruel to him. I remember he had simple grocery items: Milk, eggs, bread, and cereal. When the checker gave him his total, something like 11 dollars, the man reached into his wallet and gave him his debit card. After running the card a few times, the same result came back: Declined. At that exact time, at that very moment, I had the song “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today” pop into my head. The song was so loud in my mind that I started humming it aloud. I reached into my wallet, and saw that I had a $12.00 in cash. *An opportunity for me to learn and grow had just been set be for me*. A choice needed to be made. I gladly jumped on the privilege to pay for the mans groceries. He was shocked. With a rugged yet warm smile, he said “Thank you very much young man”, patted me on the back, and walked out.
    I left the store, having been given an opportunity, and made the decision to help another.
    When I got to my van, I sat and wept. I was so happy to have been blessed with that opportunity. I don’t think it would have been a “wrong” decision to not help the old man. I think the decision to help moved me forward, rather than standing still.
    Alas, sometimes the “right” decision is the one made without thinking or understanding, but by “listening”. 🙂
    God Bless you and the family, Brother Gary! jt

  6. If you ever want that feeling of being a kid trying to decide what seat to pick on the plane again, just join the Emerald Isle club for National rent a car. (They are the company that lets you pick your own car). I have more fun watching seasoned business travelers all scramble off a shuttle bus and try to pick the best car on the lot. My experience is that people seem to fall into select categories of decision makers without giving it much thought. I agree with the HighFive Your Life Principle and appreciate your blog.

  7. Decisions, decisions, decisions…. they never stop, like time. I find the older you get the more you realize that life is not about just living, but deciding how to live. My 8-yr old son just lost in the 1st round of Taekwondo Nationals in 2 events. I have to figure out how to make that a growing experience so he can learn from his decisions leading up to his defeats.

    1. Hello Danor..sounds like a real exciting “gut wrenching for the parents” event!!!! I am sure you will teach him many things from these type of experiences. Hope all is well with the fam!

  8. thanks very much for your insight thoughts, and wisdom, Gary. I look forward to reading your blog and I may add a few of my own thoughts. The funny thing to me is that it is so often the “disasters” of life that teach us the most memorable, meaningful lessons.
    thanks! SRicks

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