Blindspots and Their Perils

Every vehicle has blindspots. They are like people that way. Some vehicles are more susceptible to blindspots than others. Trucks are the worst, especially the larger they are in height, width, and length. Add to that the weight of the cargo, and the degree of danger that hazardous cargo presents, and the risks escalate exponentially.

Experienced truck drivers learn to rely on their mirrors and make lane changes or turns with care. They understand that Mr SpeedStuf has no patience and will weave in and out of traffic to gain that microsecond advantage, regardless of whether or not the truck driver can see him at all times. Then there is Ms Chatty Cell. They know she will be hard pressed to look up from her texting to notice she is about to drift into the truck’s lane while in his blindspot. Perilous, indeed.

It is the stuff of life, these blindspots. They are real. They must be reckoned with. I regularly clean my mirrors and make sure they are properly set so that I have optimal range of vision. This is part of a larger multiple point inspection I routinely practice each morning. Even so, the blindspots remain. It is one of the fundamental risks of driving. It sobers me each time I embark on a route.

I have blindspots, too. Others perceive things about me or my immediate environment and situation which I cannot directly observe. Newsflash: so do you. A growing self-awareness alerts us to these areas of vulnerability. But even self-awareness is not a cure-all. The blindspots must still be reckoned with. Especially in times of crisis. A death in the family. A setback at work. A broken relationship. A broken heart.

In those times of vulnerability we may be tempted to make decisions based on tainted instincts and visceral feeling, not realizing that, as with compromised sideview truck mirrors, our fields of view have been stained and streaked so that we cannot see clearly. The adrenaline rush propels us toward hasty decisions. We frankly don’t care if we sideswipe the relationships we hold most dear.

Until the moment, the season, the gut-wrenching feeling passes. And we are left to survey the wreckage of our choices, wondering what went wrong. For some, this will lead to opportunities for healing. For far too many, it merely leads to hardened resolve to maintain a facade of wholeness, or even worse, to abandon any hope whatsoever.

Are you aware of your blindspots? Not sure? Ask your spouse or a friend who knows you well. Learn your weaknesses and turn this budding self-awareness into a source of strength for the crises which are sure to visit you in the days to come.

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