The guy shouted. Bullshit, I thought. A few weeks back a guy put something in our mailbox. He had pulled into our driveway, dropped off a sheet for some event at the local ice skating rink, then backed up hitting both our mail box and the cement borders that surround our garden. He said it was an accident, but I disagreed. It got me thinking about what we accept as accidents when in fact it’s really about not paying attention. That is when unfortunate events take place.
Accidents are things out of our control. The mailbox and garden hadn’t moved. Thousands of times people have pulled in and out of this flat straight driveway without incident. Did a tree limb fall or a squirrel run out distracting him? Nope. There were no outside variables shaping this event. It was unfortunate that it happened, perhaps unintentional, but it was no accident.
When we don’t pay attention to what we are doing “accidents” usually occur. However, it wasn’t an “accident”, because not paying attention is quite deliberate. When we do not pay attention often bad things can and will happen that we later regret. However, I have never heard anyone claim that not paying attention was an accident.
It was an “accident” is an excuse we have all hid behind. “Whoops, how’d that happen?” An accident is something unavoidable. A rock rolls down a hill and hits your car which you cannot avoid because of oncoming traffic. That scenario is unavoidable and out of your control.
If only that mailbox hadn’t taunted him the way it did standing so calmly and upright it might still be standing there today.