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21 May 2009

Is An Accident Really An Accident?

I've lived the majority of my adult life believing the following:

An accident really isn't an accident. It's simply poor planning on your part.
Similar to the saying, "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine." And while I know this isn't the case 100% of the time. I do think it holds true a lot of the time.

Here are some examples:
  • My son kicked a small (but fairly dense) ball this morning. After one bounce it hit a glass panel on a piece of furniture. I explained the problem to him and he said, "It was an accident."
  • My daughter was jumping on the furniture, slipped off and put her foot right through the bottom of a decorative wooden basket. She said, "It was an accident."
Obviously kids do a lot of things without thinking about the consequences. But does that mean adults are immune? Heck no!

I'll confess I've done some pretty stupid things in my time (as an adult).

Like the time I was trying to get a jammed window open in our basement. It was really stuck so I decided the best tool for the job was the butt end of a hockey stick. I started by "gently" tapping the frame. After a few unsuccessful taps I slipped and tapped the window instead of the frame. We did get the breeze we were looking for, but I had to replace some glass very quickly.

So what's the answer?

In my estimation it is simply this:
Always think before you act. Not just about what you are doing. But predict potential negative outcomes to decrease the likelihood that they will occur.