Aug 14th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

When Tragedy Strikes

A house burns to the ground.  It is not a palatial residence, but it’s all they have;  a tornado sweeps through a neighborhood, taking most everything in its path;  a driver appears from nowhere, crashing into an oncoming car, killing everyone:  a random act steals the lives of young and innocent, older and sedate, and all are targets of a madman.

With the proliferation of bad news that comes daily, particularly as it applies to individuals and families, it is likely many of us take a sigh of relief: ‘Thank God that didn’t happen to us.” But it may and can and might.

We may celebrate, even quietly, that such offensively terrible episodes haven’t directly touched our lives, but have come dangerously close enough.

Most do all they can to prevent such horrible tragedies in their lives. But all one can do is often not enough.  Living in a calm, sedate neighborhood often brings people out of their homes to say “nothing like that has ever happened here.”   Hearing the news of a friend in an accident,  a group on an innocent trip suddenly in a terrible accident, a child’s drowning all bring us to that moment of despair when we ask “how could that have happened?”

Our presumed readiness won’t prevent a moment like that experienced by so many.  The drunk driver, the speeding vehicle, being in the wrong place at the wrong time all can set up the conditions for one of those terrible, horrible events that change and ruin one’s life.

How does one get ready?  What does one do to head off the possibility?

Even close calls frighten and threaten our serenity.  They often come not because of what someone else did, but because of one’s own unintentional carelessness.  Threats to our tranquil, reasonably stable existence can come from anywhere.

Being alert, being prudent, being on guard, avoiding, so much as possible, those situations that set up danger are some of our natural responses to danger.

Some Tips May Help

Take nothing for granted.  Prepare, be alert, don’t assume your personal safety, equip yourself. If you shouldn’t be driving, don’t.  If you smell a strange odor in your house, leave it.  If you see a child swimming alone, go and help him/her out of the pool.  Point out potential dangers that exist in your neighborhood, an intersection needing a stop sign;  a school crossing where there now is not one; a street with lots of blind spots.

Recruit others to be a part of a Neighborhood Watch  group. Help sharpen the sensitivity of as many persons about as many potential threats as collectively can be identified.  Sharpen your own habits, as you back out of your drive, as you cross a busy street, as you jog along a familiar path, as you ride your bicycle;  as you trim your shrubbery;  as you observe the condition of other crossings, yards and potential danger zones.  Simple things frequently may mean the difference between prevention and regret.



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