I’ll be honest: I didn’t change my smoke alarm batteries this year. I also didn’t check my car for winter safety or fix the loose brick on the front step that I trip over nearly every time I come in the door. I know they’re important, but those little things kept taking a backseat to problems that seemed more urgent.
For someone who holds herself out as committed to safety, I don’t feel very good about my inaction. After all, we’re here to help others find the motivation and can-do spirit to take on the challenge of keeping our loved ones safe in our very busy world. If I can’t do it, how can I help others?
I can help by admitting that I fell short of my goals, forgiving myself for my inaction, and making changes in my list of priorities. Change—that’s the key here. It’s not enough to recognize that you’re human and will make mistakes. We have to take the next step. We have to couple forgiveness with the resolve to do better. If our choices reflect our priorities, then I need to make the choices that show that I am committed to the health and well-being of my loved ones.
How do I make better choices? For me, it starts with acknowledging the reasons why I didn’t take the actions I knew I should. I made an assumption about my risk of harm and decided it was low enough that I could get away with laziness for another day (or week or month or year). But I know better. I know fires happen and cars break down and people trip over my front step, so I need to make some changes to show that I value the people around me enough to make the effort to keep them safe.
I resolve to take action this year. I’m going to stop making excuses and stop telling myself that tragedy is not very likely to happen. I know better, so I am determined to do better. That’s why I’m joining Operation End Injury. I need a little help myself—with motivation, with knowing what actions to take, with knowing how to help others make their lives safer.
I’m looking forward to feeling better about my choices and avoiding the regret of inaction, and I’m looking forward to the satisfaction and peace of mind that come from taking precautions. With support from Operation End Injury and some extra effort, I know I can do the little things that add up to big change for safety.
I think I’ll start with that smoke alarm.
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