At dusk the other day, I was driving down the Jordanian motorway. Three of the four cars in front of me had no working tail or brake lights. I had no warning when they were slowing. They’d just loom closer.
The same motorway a few weeks ago, I rapidly came up on a goat-laden pickup backing up toward me. No reverse lights functioning of course. Maybe the goats chewed through the wires.
I’ve seen a several toddlers standing on their parents’ shoulders with their heads poking out of the sun roof at speed. Arms and hair flapping in the wind
We were in a fender bender in a roundabout. There were lots of cars moving real slow and suddenly, THUMP! We were hit! The driver was a complete gentleman. He apologized and said he got distracted by his toddler who jumped from the back seat to the front seat.
“I needed to catch him and I got distracted. My foot lifted off the brake.”
I greatly wanted to ask him if he knew of a way to prevent this. If he knew that his Cadillac Escalade had straps, likely wedged deep between the seat cushions, which could be used either alone or with a special chair, as a restraint against jumping toddlers in moving cars. I feared my point would be lost. My car sustained no damage. His would require some pretty extensive repair.
Predestination is a tenet belief in these parts. It is the idea that on the day that you are born, the day of your death is already known. It is kept in a book in God’s vest pocket along with a pocket watch. Nothing you do during life can change this day. When it’s your time, it’s your time. This, I believe, is how many people live their lives.
Given this knowledge why would I replace my taillight bulb? Why would I pull my toddler in from the sunroof? My concern for safety has no bearing on my death or that of others. I am freed of personal responsibility.
I thought of this freedom when, not far from where my fender bender occurred, I saw a man in a wheelchair, rolling down the middle of 3 or 4 lanes of traffic. His arms a-whir as he tried to match the speed of the cars. He was a double amputee.
Did he wake that morning, like he did most mornings, and think. “God, done took my legs, I just don’t think today’s my day to die!”?
And then he wheeled off down the road.