Time to be Safe
Ashton Kutcher stars in a great movie called “The Butterfly Effect.”
In this story, the main character, played by Kutcher, discovers he has a talent evidently passed onto him by his father that allows him to go back in time. He repeatedly attempts to go back and alter the outcome of a prank that turned into tragedy, but each attempt end up creating a new set of equally undesirable outcomes.
It is fascinating to dream of going back in time. The idea of changing one detail about the past to affect the present in a favorable way is a common thought for us all. This is never more prevalent than when an accident occurs. Someone is injured or killed. Regret, despair, sadness, and pain tend to lead us to lament about what few small changes we could have made for prevention’s sake, especially when it is evident that an accident was easily preventable.
Easily or not, “preventable” is the key word here. If there was any way we could have prevented an accident, it is no doubt a more desirable outcome.
Of course, we can’t go back in time. What we can do is use the knowledge that the actions we take today, in the present, are the only options we have to keep us out of harm’s way. The choices we make, with the knowledge we have, determine how we protect ourselves against all possible future events.
Once an accident occurs, it is beyond our ability to add protective measures; beyond our ability to magically erase injuries; beyond our ability to change what is now the past. The time to change that would have been before, not after, the event. This is the essence of safety: the time to prevent and protect against accidents that occur in the future is now.
That means making smart choices everyday, because you will never know when the unexpected will occur. That means using all of your protection every day, not just those times when you “think” something is going to happen.
Think how smart you will feel when you have the thought that would not want to change the past, because you made the right choices, and you avoided injury. Be a genius—use the knowledge you have to make the right safety choices. Do it now.
August 22, 2006