Safety ““ On Guard


You may have heard the phrase “There is safety in numbers” and not thought much about it. It denotes that if you are with others you will find protection. In certain situations this may apply, but in some cases this is not so. Regularly I hear news reports of individuals who have been pulled out to deep water and drowned in strong riptides along the California coast while others are swimming, playing in the surf or safely basking in the sun not a great distance away. So, this brings me to an important question: How is safety managed in your life? I want to take this moment to bring a few ideas to the forefront. What I really want to talk about is the safety of one . . . you!

The lifeguards I regularly see when I venture down to our local beaches have a very important job as they stand on their towers or at water’s edge constantly on watch for someone in trouble. When on duty they must always be alert for danger and never let their guard down, not even for a second. If they do not pay attention they may miss the warning signs of one in trouble, someone slipping away. They are watchmen of sorts and it is their job to protect you if you happen to be on their beach, on their watch. So few of us may feel we have a watchman to walk with us through life. The truth of the matter is that we each have one to protect us everywhere we go. Your watchman is you. The problem is, how often are you on guard, on duty?

This morning as I was traveling down a busy four-lane thoroughfare in my car, the driver’s side back tire went flat. After pulling over and assessing the situation, I knew I could take care of the problem rather quickly, so I unloaded the necessary tools and spare tire to do the job. It was my decision next that showed me how I am handling my watch and at this particular time. I stepped up onto the sidewalk and studied the traffic passing by. There were far too many cars, traveling way too fast and close to where I needed to be, to safely change the tire. My roadside service had expired last month, so I knew that no one would come to my rescue and I would have to address the problem myself. Knowing that the only way to safely take care of this situation would be to have an emergency vehicle block me from the traffic, I called 911 and requested a police officer be sent to my location. The story had a safe ending after my husband learned of my plight and reinstated the roadside service, sending a kind gentleman to change the tire.

This situation has caused me to reflect on my daily actions of caution. Sure, I always wear a seat belt when traveling in a car and never ride a bike without a helmet, yet I am a mountain biker who loves challenging descents and am currently learning how to skateboard. I would say that I’m not a risktaker yet I do like adventure as long as I can stay reasonably safe. However, sometimes we need to be shaken a bit, maybe from the experience of others, to assess just how we are in terms of our own safety. Irony to this story comes in the fact that my great-grandfather was killed when stuck by another car while changing a tire on the side of the road. How strange that I did not think about his accident until sitting down to write this story twelve hours after my roadside incident.

Yes, sometimes accidents do just happen, but there are far too many that occur unnecessarily””accidents that could have been prevented. It really should not be the primary responsibility of others to keep us safe from danger. Our children rely on us for safety until they have learned the skills needed to be responsible caretakers themselves. Yet, as adults too often we blame bad circumstance on the actions of others when we have quite possibly let our guard down long enough to allow the dangers in. In the end it is up to us to be that watchman on the tower always on duty, always on guard for dangers that may be.

In Other’s Words:

Safety doesn’t happen by accident.”


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