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When bad things happen

When something bad happens to you, how do you react?

Do you get upset and wonder “why me?” Do you blame others or are you thankful? When I was younger I often became upset, blamed others and wondered “why me?” when bad things happened to me. I could not understand why such things happened. It seemed so unfair.

Eventually I learned life is not fair; bad things happen to all of us. None of us are guaranteed a perfect life where everything is rainbows and unicorns. Bumps, scrapes, cuts, obstacles and disaster happen, and there is nothing we can do to prevent it, so we need to learn how to successfully deal with these situations.

For example a little over 10-years ago I was driving home from my dad’s house in Breckinridge County. He lived on a narrow, winding, hilly road. About a mile from his house my front axle on my car snapped, which caused my car to start to slide and become uncontrollable. My car finally came to rest in the center of the narrow road.

I could have become mad and raged, “Why me?” Instead I was thankful.

Why would I be thankful that my car axle snapped? I was not thankful the axle snapped, but where the axle snapped, and the traffic conditions at the time. Being a narrow country road, not much traffic traveled the roadway, so when the axle snapped and my car started to slide I did not have to worry about oncoming traffic.

What if that had happened out on U.S. 60? What if I had been traveling at 55 MPH at the time? My car would have definitely slid into oncoming traffic and I would have been involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle also probably traveling 55 MPH. I definitely would have suffered severe injury or even death in this situation.

In addition, about three miles from my dad’s house the road became curvy, and went down a steep hill. If the axle snapped as I entered the curve going down the hill I would have slid into the rock-cut embankment on the left side of the road, or head-on into another vehicle coming up the hill. While the accident probably would not have been fatal, I probably would have suffered injury.

When the axle snapped, my first thought was, “Wow, I was lucky it snapped here where the road is straight and there was no oncoming traffic.” I was not injured, no one else was involved in the incident and my car could be repaired.

A minute or two after the axle snapped, a school bus came driving by. The driver stopped and asked if I was okay and if I needed help. I told him I was okay, that my dad was coming and I had a wrecker on the way to tow my car.

By Ralph Dickerson


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