Despite checking all directions and rear cameras and side mirrors, I nearly reversed over a child, backing out of my driveway, this morning. The young boy was scooting along so quickly on one of those mini scooters and being so small, I couldn’t see any sign of him until the rear of the car was at the footpath’s edge.
Luckily he had seen me a split second before I saw him and stopped. I saw the look on his face that was reflected in my own emotions – that of surprise, fear and disbelief and finally relief.
“The more choices we have,
the greater the need for focus.”
– Tom Butler-Bowdon,
Australian non-fiction author
After the initial shock of what might have been and what clearly WASN’T had settled – I began to think how lucky both the child and myself was to have avoided a sure tragedy.
How could I ever have forgiven myself if I was responsible for a child’s death, or injury, even if it was accidental? To say nothing of the grief for the parents and the loss of a potential life/ any injuries and trauma for the child.
Thus, this incident had me thinking about luck, or feeling lucky and how that can be a close cousin of gratitude.
We, in the first or second world are frequently told to be more grateful.
“In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful,
but the gratefulness that makes us happy.”– Albert Clarke
To be thankful that we are not struggling to take a breath of clean air, to find food or to live through each day confident of our safety. Many of us are, or act, so entitled, it is easy to forget how fortunate we are to have our basic needs cared for – so much so that we give them little thought.
I was lucky and felt ever so grateful to continue my Sunday car jaunts without further mishap and continued to ponder my good fortune for the chance to do so.
But there was more that came to mind:
I was thankful for the reminder to be grateful for the life I have, and to be aware of the world that surrounds us in this present moment.
Life can be fragile and tenuous, even when we consider it protected and death feels so far removed from our immediate thoughts.
Thomas Jefferson also had some thoughts about luck and its connection with hard work:
“I find that the harder I work,
the more luck I seem to have.”
Has a near miss reminded you how precarious life is, and made you renew your relationship with gratitude?