Split Second, Every decision has multiple impacts

 What happens in a “split second” often has an impact on your immediate and distant future.  As a “professional truck driver”, it is easy for me to relate events that I see and/or experience on the road to the broader meaning of life.  Take this moment as an example:  I am traveling along a very curvy LA highway, it is a two lane and winds down through the swamp, over and around bayous.  Key point to remember: if there is a shoulder (in this case NONE), it is soft; especially because of the current rain and the previous storms.  My cargo is 1) liquid, which moves naturally to level and if the trailer leans the liquid move with it and is not centered, 2) oh yes, it is flammable, 3) it is a lightly raining and has been for an hour or so.  As I am exiting a right-hand curve and preparing for the upcoming left-hand curve, an oncoming truck is coming through the same series of curves in reverse.  Oh look, he is wheels over the center dividing line: What to do what to do? First – Do not panic, ease off the accelerator and hug the fog line(that white line to assist you to know where the edge of your lane and the road is). Now trust (and hope) the other driver, his is a professional also, realizes his situation and also eases off the speed and pulls his rig back into his lane.  If not you are prepared for a bump and should not loose control and can maintain your vehicle through any disruption (you know collision).


Sure enough you pass each other, key up you cb radio and say, “Well done driver, well done.   See you on the other end.”

How does this relate to “REAL LIFE”?  Simple. Throughout each day you have moments of time that added together make up your day, week, month, year, and life.  How we react to each little moment affects the next as well as other people around us.  

Sit back and think for a moment.  Your last moment of “crisis“, how important was it in the scheme of the day; more importantly, has impactful was it in the outcome of the year.  Some are drastically important with life-altering consequences; however, most are really not that imperative.  I spend a lot of time during my day observing and going through “what if’s”.  This cuts out the hesitation of reaction in a given circumstance.  I do this not driving but throughout my day; I do not like surprises; therefore, I have built up some situational awareness.

We can exercise this method in all aspects of our lives.  I even challenge that it would decrease some of the anger and hatred which our country is experiencing.  Be present in the moment and stay in self control mode.  The next/other person would also be present in his moment and then maybe we will not react and judge too quickly, but stay composed and controlled.

We should not be consumed with “blame and fault” but with “compassion and understanding”.  If I spend my time concerned with being responsible for my actions and well-being, I have less time to worry about your responsibilities.  Try it, give a stranger a “Howdy” and friendly nod and/or wave. Politeness and courtesy are contagious.  You might the the one person that makes a huge impact on someone and change their day from bad to good.

By Hugh Pinckard

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