The other day I came .05 seconds from killing someone. Swear to the God who saved this soul, and mine.
I was stopped at a red light on Santa Monica Boulevard in LA. I picked up my phone from the center console and fired off a quick text message.
The light turned green, and I stepped on the gas while putting my phone down.
I did not see an old man, hunched over a cane, slowly hobbling across the crosswalk. He was only halfway across when the light turned green.
That’s always a dangerous situation for anyone, but only if those people in the cars aren’t paying attention.
I was NOT paying attention and I came half an inch from hitting this old man. HALF AN INCH!
Because I was not tuned in to what was going on around me, seeing green was enough to GO!
The lady in the car next to me drove up beside me and was shaking her head at me as if to say, “You’re everything that’s wrong with the world.”
I was THAT guy, a danger to society, because I was so “busy” that I needed to use those 12 seconds stopped at the red light to send a text message.
Here’s the crazy thing. Two days prior, I had been warned of this exact situation.
I was listening to a true story in a book about a lady who was driving with her young son in the back of the car.
The lady looked down at her phone for a few seconds, and BOOM! She collided with an old man on the crosswalk.
The man was critically injured and down on the street. His adult children rushed to his side. They were obviously freaking out, and called 911!
A short time later, the old man died and the lady who killed him was in a state of shock and mourning, her life forever changed.
I remember listening to this story at 4:30am and saying to myself, “David, this is a warning. Be careful in your car.”
And then a few days later, it almost happened to me.
I count my blessings that I got a second strike. I count the blessings of this old man. I count the blessings of this old man’s family.
Is it going to take my almost killing someone to WAKE UP?
This was my line drawn CLEARLY in the sand!
I’m fucking freaked out at how close I came to living with “manslaughter” on my conscious all for a text message.
A TEXT MESSAGE.
Bob Dylan sings,
“The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’”
Mark these words:
The ones who find a way to break free from the infection of technology are going to be the true leaders going forward.
What is the vaccine to cure or conquer the constant itch that only a screen can scratch?
Every night at dinner, my son grabs a pen and a pad of paper and imitates his teacher at pre-school taking attendance.
My son says, “Mommy?”
My wife says, “Here.”
Then he says, “Daddy?”
“eeeeeeeeeeeekkkk…” Or whatever sound my 12-month-old screeches out at that moment.
But sometimes we don’t realize he’s taking attendance and we don’t answer him right away.
So he’ll keep saying it louder and louder…
And finally, I’ll say… “Here. Here. Here…you don’t have to scream!!”
But he did have to scream because I didn’t hear him…
….just as life will have to put a close call in anyone’s path who is not paying attention.
I have a new mantra for a new year: NOW HERE.
It’s the only way forward in our totally fragmented world.
It’s only 2 words so I can’t forget it. But in the moments where I am slipping into a state of multi-tasking disarray, will I remember to say it?
When casually looking at my phone while driving 40mph with my 4,000lb four wheel machine…NOW HERE!
I only get 7 more days with my daughter before she is all grown up (1 Year old) and I don’t get those days back. NOW HERE!
When on my favorite hike and the phone rings…NOW HERE!
“The times they are a changin.”