I could have killed someone

The morning was not off to a good start.  I awoke almost an hour late.  No time for my morning routine and I broke a rule of mine - I started my morning off at the computer.  I checked facebook - no news there.  I checked my reading list and then the mornings first real blunder - I made an ugly, snarky remark on a friend's blog.

The morning only got worse.  I drug myself upstairs to shower and then I did it - I stepped into the shower with my reading glasses on!  No big deal you say?  I could have killed someone. 

There is a story where the Buddha is talking to a man and while talking to him the man is twitching his leg. 
Buddha -" Why are you doing that?"
"What?" asked the other man. 
Buddha -"Twitching your leg while I am talking"
Man -"Oh, I wasn't even aware of it". 
Buddha -"If you twitch your leg and have no knowledge of it then you can just as easily commit murder with no knowledge of it."

 Mindfulness is required in all areas of our lives, at all times.  You see if we lose control of our actions we are capable of any dastardly deed.  Not paying attention to our words, how we treat others, or ...... can all be as equally dangerous as Russian roulette.  If we are unduly harsh on a colleague it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.  If we are stressed after our work days and do not give our children the attention that they deserve then the results can be regrettable.  Running a stop light because you didn't see the light change can kill someone. 

We are responsible for our actions whether we are fully aware or not.  Just because a drunk driver doesn't have an accident doesn't mean he isn't guilty of a crime. Please try to give the present moment the attention that it deserves.  You may save a life.

Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living
Mindfulness, Now, Responsibility


  1. So right, so important to deep breath when we feel ungrounded and angry. I forget too, and I am impatient by nature so I can get angry easily... so right... it is THAT important.

  2. Good points. Two things:

    First, I have totally had those mornings, so I had to chuckle! I've slept with my glasses on... And I do have to say that your snarky remark probably wasn't that bad--I don't think you have a mean bone in your body, so you're probably being hard on yourself.

    Second, I know what you mean though. I read a VERY disturbing article once, about people who left their babies in their cars, on hot days (it didn't end well, for any of them). And someone they interviewed said, "If you have ever left your wallet at home, then you could leave your kid in your car." Disturbing, but true, actually. We really need to be more aware of what we're doing.

  3. Mindfulness is a good word, but the science behind it (admittedly a soft science) calls it personal accountability. Errors (like leaving your reading glasses on or a coffee mug on top of a car) are more likely to happen when there are a set of "error producing conditions" in place, just like you had this morning. You started by being "time pressed" and then other factors started to add up. What we recommend (I do this stuff for a living) to individuals is to actually track their errors (they don't have to be major, like leaving a kid in the back of the car, they can be minor, like a snarky comment) and determine what Error Producing conditions are in place. After awhile, you will know what triggers will be most likely cause you to do something stupid and the awareness of that potential weakness tends to make one more likely to avoid future mistakes. Dr. James Reason and Dr. Tony Kern are two academics that have really pioneered some of this research. It is used most often in high risk industries, but maps over to life, in my opinion

  4. Not a good idea to sweat the small stuff like eyeglasses in the shower but being in the NOW when in charge of the Self and/or the Other is essential. Mindfulness is merely being present in the Now. When you catch yourself with mouth open catching flies then you must snap out of it and CONCENTRATE. Or is that word too recherche...?

  5. Dan, great points - all. I am so glad I decided to slow my life down. I am just lucky I didn't run a stop light at the wrong time or cause harm with myriad other absentminded actions. CJ always says, Never be in a rush. Easier said than done, but I find myself repeating it whenever I start going a million miles a minute. Thank you for the reminder!

  6. That is just what I needed.
    I just had one of those days too..

    Thank you!!