Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Danger of Texting while Driving

Do you assign value to the tasks that you do each day? Do you have goals for your life? What value do you assign to life itself?

Some people like to think they are super human, perhaps invincible and so, hearing that there are rules to follow in life are rejected, laughed at and more. One area of daily function that became very important to me from my first job as an occupational therapist, is that of prevention and promotion of health. While I valued having a job in a large teaching hospital, more and more I felt my heart sink when hearing reason for admission for such a high percentage of the patients discussed on ward round. Many of them were referred to occupational therapy, many we needed to educate the team as to the role of OT in order to motivate for a referral and then many others would not even be referred as their medical condition did not stabilize enough to begin OT intervention.

Some of these certainly would have benefited from Health and Wellness to develop a healthy lifestyle that could prevent illnesses such as heart disease, strokes etc, many needed other intervention. For many, developing an attitude of absolute respect for life that includes habits that promote life, could be the difference between life and the opposite. Some like to tell me I exaggerate or am too dramatic. I wish I were.

Imagine going on a ward round and seeing in a bed in ICU, a young lady or guy, could be a student, could be newly working, could be still at school, could be a bit older. There are tubes, leads and machines all over and all around the bed. The person is hardly recognizable with swollen face, bandages, raccoon eyes (which means bruising all around the eye), plaster cast, bed frames, traction and all kinds of other apparatus. Doctors talk of injuries, possible prognosis and, of course, cause of injury. All too often the cause is an unnecessary accident. It is these unnecessary accidents that upset me the most.

Please watch this video and take note of a simple habit that can be altered. You might know the line "don't drink and drive". Now there is a new one, "Don't text and drive" That is not only for the one driving but for the friend or relative sending messages. If you know your friend is driving, hold off on texting. Keep that mobile phone in your handbag or on a hands free set and keep hands and eyes away from the phone and on the road.

I was once in the car with a taxi driver who believed that everything is in the hands of Heaven and if one is supposed to have an accident then it will happen anyway. While everything is in the hands of Heaven, you do not have to be the Shaliach for damage to another. Torah teaches us to be careful to put a fence on the roof to avoid potential injury. We are taught to be careful with our animals that they do not wander off into the property of another to cause damage to another or their property. From these two examples, we see that we have a responsibility not to cause harm to ourselves or to others. Avoiding appropriate habits or taking responsibility for our actions by saying everything is up to Hashem, is not appropriate thinking. What is appropriate, is developing the lifestyle, routine and habits that promote health and life.

Let us learn a powerful lesson presented by AT&T


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