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The Danger Zone

Ducks in the road are a familiar sight to most locals. These mallards have spent generations living in the Wilson canal and other small bodies of water nearby. Most don’t even migrate any longer, instead choosing to spend their entire lives living off hand-outs from humans and scavenging the rest of their meals.

By necessity, this leads the ducks to cross roads, and as you have probably noticed, they’ve become quite comfortable doing so. Large vehicles roar past, mere inches from them, and they seem to not notice. They cross the road without any visible hint of concern for whether there may be cars headed their way, and because local drivers are for the most part very conscientious, these situations usually work out for the ducks (though I still cringe when I see a trail of tiny ducklings following their mother across busy 12th Avenue).

Watching the complacency of these ducks in what is actually a very dangerous situation, I began thinking about how this might apply to our own lives. Even if we know a situation is probably not the safest, if we do it enough times without experiencing consequences, we start to think it’s “safe enough.” Some examples might be not wearing a seatbelt, using illegal drugs, taking medication more frequently or in larger doses than instructed (or skipping doses to save money), driving on too little sleep, driving after having “only a few” drinks, riding a motorcycle without a helmet, eating too much junk food, or neglecting preventative medical care.

Life is hazardous enough. Granted, we’re no longer fighting saber-toothed tigers for our breakfasts, but even our cozy society has its dangers. Sometimes our well-being is out of our hands (accidents happen, our genetics aren’t always our friends, etc.), but in countless other ways, we are responsible for our own safety. What is the point in exposing ourselves to unnecessary, preventable threats? Especially if we’re only doing so because we’re lazy? Or in a hurry? Or because we’re valuing money over our health? Or chasing a cheap thrill?

You are a priceless individual, and whether or not you believe it, you owe yourself the best care you can give. This includes staying out of the danger zone and away from risky behaviors. Stay safe, and keep moving, my friends!

– Alan

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