Wednesday, November 01, 2006

When is ‘cool’ not so cool – speed kills

Young people always want to be cool – to be seen to be cool – thought of as being cool – acting cool. But what is ‘cool’? It used to be doing your own thing – being an individual – something else. Being cool was never doing what everybody else is doing – it is/was always about making your own mark on your bit of the world.

Something else about ‘cool’ – you grow out of being it; it’s a youth thing. Youngsters soon grow out of motorcycles, weird clothes, loud pop music, trying to impress the opposite sex all the time, and getting up their teachers’ noses.

Some things are different though – speed still attracts the young, and the not so young. Driving with your foot down and flashing past slower vehicles is still attractive. What is not quite so popular is the devastating consequence of speed when it all goes wrong.

Because make no mistake, speeding soon leads to losing control – and that leads to death and horrible injury – to sadness and devastation – to lives ruined.

As the needle travels around the arc on your speedometer, as you go faster and faster, the chances of having an accident also climb – faster than the needle on the dial.

The reaction time you are capable of stays the same, but the time on the ground diminishes to nothing. All you need is another car crossing your path, slowing down in front of you, or worse, a person – a child in front of you and that’s the end – for all.

For the people who get killed, it is literally the end of their life on this earth, for people horribly injured, it is the end of a normal life, for relatives and friends of the victims, it’s the end of friendships, families – life.

And for you, the person who caused the accident, but who escaped physically unhurt, it is also the end – what you have done – what you were responsible for – what you caused to happen through your carelessness, through wanting to be cool by driving too fast – surprise surprise – it’s the end of your life as an innocent person.

As we all know, we meet our fate no matter what. The Police let us off, but our minds will not.
And that’s the strange thing – that if you had behaved as an individual – had thought before acting and then behaved responsibly, you would really be cool – forever – in everyone’s eyes – you would have become a member of the human race – respected, beloved, revered in everyone’s eyes, and most importantly, in your own – now that IS cool!
Robert L. Fielding


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