Letter to the Editor

Precious cargo

Sunday, August 4, 2019

There are some things we can learn from those mass murderers in our malls. One lesson could save lives. That would be the one about becoming more intentional. By intentional I mean something that is done on purpose, with full intent, deliberately and with focus. Let me explain.

Too often the news of the day is peppered with heartbreaking stories about vehicle crashes that kill multiple victims. In Iowa alone, after decades of education on the subject, still some 30% or more traffic deaths involve those not wearing a seat belt. Bicyclists riding at night, wearing dark clothing and displaying no taillight or headlight, are truly risking life and limb.

The above-mentioned examples are tragic enough, but what about the ongoing deaths of small children left in locked vehicles? We shake our heads asking "What could the parent/guardian have been so distracted about that they wouldn't be aware of their precious cargo?" Sure, traffic or job stress, sudden weather events or running behind, can all be contributing factors that's life. We need to practice being intentional, disciplined, purposeful in our actions. It takes practice to shift from a mentality of "everything is important" to "only my loved ones are truly essential." Habits or patterns are crucial. Just as the shooter in the mall is intent on murder and mayhem, so too, buckling a seat belt, being conscious of night driving and its inherent need for watchfulness, and avoiding haphazard/distracting behaviors behind the wheel must be priorities.

My dad used to say "You can learn a lot from a dummy. He joked about the crash dummies used in seat belt commercials on television. Turns out not so funny. Buckle up, click it or ticket, whatever the catch phrase that has the most meaning for you. Be plan-full, purposeful and prepare in advance. Lives are in the balance. Precious cargo is on board!

Bill Kersting, Spencer