LESSONS MY FATHER TAUGHT ME: Part I — Anticipation

Many years ago, a dear friend whom I was driving with said to me: “even though you’re an aggressive driver (understatement), I always feel safe with you because you have a great sense of anticipation. You seem to instinctively know when danger lies ahead.”

And, that’s true.

One of the lessons my father gave to me was the responsibility that comes with driving a vehicle. Before dropping the keys in my hands for my very first driving lesson, he said: “ALWAYS remember driving a car is not a right, it is a privilege. AND, it is also a weapon. Treat it with the utmost respect.” I think that I immediately understood what he meant; a vehicle is virtually essential in today’s society. However, it is also thousands of pounds of steel and glass, hurling through time and space at great speeds. As evidenced by the appalling statistics, automobile accidents leave thousands dead and many more injured every single year.

As with so many lessons my father imparted upon me, they often go beyond their direct meaning and into a deeper realm. So, it was this one.

I see the way that I drive as a metaphor as to how I live my life, too.

I DO drive aggressively — I have places to go and people to see. And, I do not suffer fools. However, I believe that I never do so to the point where I am endangering myself or others. Part of that formula is to be constantly scanning the road ahead for potential danger while, at the same time, concentrating at the task in hand, i.e. the direct operation of the vehicle.

So it can be said of my approach to life. I have a keen sense of awareness as to exactly where I am at any given second. I AM living for the moment. However, at the same time, I do my best to at least be aware of what might lie ahead so that when and IF something does happen I can respond accordingly. This, I’m sure has helped me avoid catastrophic crashes not only in my vehicle but in my life as well.

Again, as in all things, striking a balance is key. We don’t want to obsess about something that has NOT actually occurred. It is important that we DO live for each moment as if it were the ONLY moment. However, at the same time, having an awareness of EVERYTHING going on around us, including things that under any given circumstance might happen, can lead us to a fuller and safer way to exist.

Once again, it seems the Middle Path, i.e. balance, is the key.