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Accidents Don't Happen, They Are Caused...

...and why this matters in business as much as life.

ImageOften I have been in situations, mostly while growing up, where I blamed everything and anything but myself for whatever happened, unless the outcome was good. This was the birth of not giving credit where it was truly due, but also not recognizing the importance of taking responsibility.

Anecdotes are a lot like old wives tales or urban myths. We can stretch it as far as a striking comparison with superstition. The parallels are quite simple - really just different ways of looking at things. Like Robin Williams did in 'Dead Poet's Society', change your perspective, stand on top of the table. They help by guiding us through situations plain, simple words cannot otherwise do.

This morning I got my daily email news from a widely read Pakistani newspaper, where a headline read, "17 schoolchildren killed in accident". The article is about how two large vehicles collided, one of them carrying the 17 kids destined for death today. Some say when your time comes, it was actually written sometime back by some unknown scribes. I haven't prescribed to this thinking. The accident wasn't an accident, just as their death wasn't an accident; it all could have been avoided. 

I like to think that there is more to life than just conforming to rules others set for you, whether religious, social, academic or professional. No, that does not mean I prescribe to rebellion, although I have been known to condone such acts occasionally. 

Go out and take a risk. Do something different. Be a salmon. Buy a Dodge Charger, despite the myths of after-purchase market value or spare part prices.

How else will you know there's yet another way to do it, right or almost? Math is pretty boxed in with all those formulas. Yet, every once in a while, a rebellious mathematician presents another way to crack the code. I hated math, never was any good at it.

ImageThere is always a method to the madness and it's not accidental. The first step to recognizing this is learning to take responsibility for your individual actions. We may or may not be born good, but we do have a lifetime to correct it with all the messages shrouding our everyday. You could be daft to miss them, for which you still remain responsible, whether or not you choose to accept.

Step back, take a look at the macro before analyzing the granularity of the micro. After all, it just took one caveman to be 'different'.

Join The Conversation

  • Jan 20 Posted 3 years ago Christopher Lynch

    Hi John, let me just give you some background on my experience of accidents. I have a medical condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta - a rare genetic disorder which primary symptom is brittle bones.

    With nearing 90 fractures in my 32 years, 54 of those being my legs, I am well accustomed to the term 'accident' and therefore posts like this really grind on me when I see this type of rediculous babbeling nonesense written for purposes of noteriety.

    Accidents to me are a fall in school that resulted in a fracture. Something that no matter how much care and safety you can take, can happen and without warning.  

    'Accident & Emergency' (A&E) aka the ER as its known here in Ireland is named for a purpose.  

    Aside from my own personal circumstances, what of the other multitude of accidents that have been derived from health related issues. Say for talks-sake you have a gentleman in good health who has an unknown and undiagnosed congenitive heart problem. He is driving down when suddenly has a heart attack. He crashes his car. This is an accident. 

    There are circumstances in life that no matter how you try and provision for something bad to happen, you simply cannot. The most simplest of examples of this is being struck by lightening. I challenge you to answer that one.




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