Saturday, March 3, 2012
Just Because You're Right Doesn't Trump Stupid
As you may know Austin is one of the homes of Lance Armstrong. As a result and also because this city is very health conscious, there are thousands who ride bikes around town every day. And our lawmakers have made rules about cars and riders that are very favorable to the rider.
Of course the safety of a rider against a several thousand pound car is of utmost importance though some would argue the rules are unreasonable for drivers. That's a discussion for another time. I've ridden thousands of miles myself in my lifetime. I love the fact that riding is so popular.
But back to the current topic. At present cars are supposed to stay at least three feet away from bike riders and technically they have a right, at least in Austin, to be riding together, side by side, and taking up a whole lane. But being right doesn't mean people should be stupid. These guys in my opinion were at best foolish. Those two or others like them may be dead before too long. Is that worth winning the argument?
In a similar way I'm concerned that those of us who climb mountains or face life challenges can sometimes lose perspective and do something we would argue is right but it may not be wise. Perhaps we're grieving and just lost someone we love. We may argue that we have the right to move, but it may not be smart until we've had more time to heal.
During our cancer we may boast that we have the strength to take a big trip and it's our prerogative but it may not be a good idea.
So how do you decide the difference between right and stupid?
First, ask other wise people. If you're hearing the same thing from multiple friends and family consider the fact that they may see things you don't. If it's a medical decision ask your doctor, an emotional one as a therapist or pastor.
Second, be honest. You know yourself, your history and how you have reacted to stress in the past. Use that knowledge and be honest. Face the fact that you have limitations or won't be able to do what someone else has done. It's OK.
Third, weigh the impact of the worst happening. If you try that climb, if you take that trip, if you buy that house and the practical worst happens what would that mean? Like those riders I saw in traffic - is it worth the likely possibility of them being badly hurt or killed?
Remember there are worst things than giving in or not winning an argument. And one of them might be that you'll never have another argument to win ever again.