What do you do when no-one’s looking?
When there’s no-one looking, are you the you that you want others to see? Or are you a different, ‘sneaky’ you? Are you honest with yourself when you’re not within view of others? How do you sit with your integrity in these situations – comfortably or not?
We’ve experienced another fatality on our road and of course the road is being blamed. Personally I haven’t seen a road leap up and kill anyone yet, and given that I drive our road twice a day most days, if the road was a killer, I’d be dead. My theory is that it’s not the road.
Humans use roads. Humans make great decisions that change our world for the better. Humans also make crappy decisions that change our world for the worse. A family’s world was forever changed last Friday morning, as was a team of road workers and a truck driver. And all of the people connected with those people. And I find it terribly sad. It got me thinking – again.
Do we always play by the rules – even when no-one else is looking? How often are we distracted by our thoughts or something else when we are doing our daily tasks? They say multi-tasking gets things done, however does it really? And when you are driving it only takes a fraction of a second’s distraction for your whole world to change - or someone elses. Do you speed through a 50 kilometre stretch of road simply because it’s the middle of the night and no-one’s around? Do you get distracted – thinking about other things when you’re driving so that when you get to your destination, you can’t recall the journey? Do you text or take calls when you're driving? Or eat pies and drink coffee? Or forget to indicate or look? Or are you one of those people that pass someone because they’re going too slow when really they’re abiding by the speed limit (yes – I’ve had that happen to me many a time). This ties in with my previous blog on the shadow effect.
Years ago I watched a documentary on truck drivers - the kings of our roads. He talked about life on the road, because our ‘truckies’ whom we rely on for the delivery of our daily staples, get to see a lot more than us car drivers. From a great height they have huge visibility where they see the best and the worst behaviour of many a driver. What this truck driver said stuck with me ever since I heard it all those years ago. He referred to the three causes of accidents being the three ‘I’s – impatience, incompetence and ignorance.
What’s really fascinating is that each of these is within our control. Meaning we can do something about it. If we need to be somewhere at a certain time, then we need to plan and give ourselves plenty of margin by allowing extra time for delays and stops. This way we can travel at the designated speed limit. If we’re not good enough at something, it’s up to us to improve, or to stop doing that task if we’re not doing it well enough. Have you ever had your driving assessed? You have to when you're older right? However it's not always the older drivers who are causing problems. If our driving isn’t up to scratch, then it’s up to us to get some help or additional training. Especially when it comes to changes in the road rules. And, if we don’t know something and we need to – it’s up to us to ask. How honest are you with yourself?
It’s about what we do when others aren’t looking. Are we being honest and exercising our integrity? Are we making good decisions for both ourselves and those around us? Please think about this when you’re driving and no-one's looking.