I hope all of our readers had a merry Christmas today and are enjoying the holiday season. I spent the day with a foggy head and sore body thanks to someone running a red light and causing a pretty serious accident involving me and my treasured old car on Christmas Eve. I think I’ll survive but the car almost certainly won’t. Fortunately, the other driver fared better than me from what I could tell.
But the reason for my post is not to relate my woes but to ask people to think about exercising their travel freedom with more personal responsibility. The foolish behavior of the person who wrecked me caused significant costs to others that could have been a lot worse. As it was, her free choices ruined my Christmas Eve and Christmas, caused me physical pain that could continue for some time, and imposed costs on my future time and budget since I’ll now have to shop for and buy a new/used car that I was not ready to purchase right now. Not exactly how I wanted to spend the holidays. It also made my children’s Christmas a lot less enjoyable — and they only get a limited number that are so purely joyous as the ones that occur between the ages of 3 and 9 or so.
Despite all this, I feel lucky compared to the many people victimized by drunk and otherwise careless drivers in our communities. Thousands are killed every year in preventable accidents. Please remember to drive carefully and to take your time on the roads. I have a hard time believing that anything I’ve been driving to is so important as to risk the lives of others (or myself and the people I’m carrying). I’m guessing the same is true for you. And wear a seat belt! While I have great disdain for seat belt laws (and appreciate that New Hampshire is the only state without one for adults), we here at Pileus have long-stressed that one shouldn’t necessarily exercise every freedom we enjoy nor legislate everything good for your body or soul. My seat belt probably saved me a lot of pain and suffering. My guess is that it will for you too at some point.
And finally, yes, I believe that scolds are probably underrated in our particular society (even as I myself chafe at certain scolds). Their approbation and disapprobation help form the moral sentiments within us all – often for the good in a civilized society.