I hit some people with my car last month.
They’re fine. Really.
I was stopped at a red light, waiting for an opening to make a right turn. They started across the crosswalk on their bikes just as I started to pull out. Basically I knocked them over. They were upset (rightly so) and I felt like a pile of steaming garbage. I helped them up, made sure they were okay, exchanged phone numbers in case they needed to see a doctor or anything, and we parted ways. My kids didn’t understand why I bawled most of the way home.
I can’t speak for anyone else involved, but three weeks later I’m still a little traumatized.
The whole incident could’ve been avoided if I’d taken a moment to stop and look for pedestrians. I saw I was clear to go on the left and never paused to see if I was clear on the right. And crunch. Massive fail.
Massive wake up call.
How much am I missing because I don’t stop and look at what’s around me?
I’m not the kind of person who values busyness for busyness’ sake. I do, however, get caught up in my own thoughts + priorities and forget to allow room for what other people want or need of me.
My kids ask me to come see something they’ve made, or watch their “show,” or help them find something. I have to confess that I frequently blow them off. Or I’ll give them half my attention and wander away when I get bored of whatever they’re doing. And guys? That’s straight up rude. I’m being so rude to my children.
I’m not implying I should always drop everything to give them my undivided attention. They can wait their turn when I’m in the middle of something else. But whether I stop immediately or stop when I’m finished, I then need to give them the same consideration I would anyone or anything else.
Less distraction. More deliberate attention to things that really matter.
Less going through the motions. More really practicing what I preach.
Which right now means I need to stop and look. Both ways.