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   I’m an early morning breakfast rat. I seek out an appropriate place to buy and consume my oatmeal and coffee…and then read and think a bit, grabbing a piece of the day before it grabs me.

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   What then are my goals as I start out?

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   There are 4:

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(1)  Don’t get killed driving.

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For more use the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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(2)  Don’t kill anyone while driving.  (less selfish     ….than #1)

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(3)  Don’t hit anyone or damage the car while driving.

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(4)  Don’t commit any kind of traffic violation.

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   1, 2, 3, 4 in that order. Then I can go on to other things on my list.

   Okay, what’s going on here? Isn’t this supposed to about science, religion, and whatnot? Well, it is. Consider speed. A practical postulate of physics is that It’s not the speed that kills, it’s just that sudden stop.

   It’s easy to take regular repeatable avoidances of death for granted.

   We forget how we are just inches, or a foot or two, from serious injury or death every time we ride in a car. We exercise great faith that the cars whizzing by or coming up from behind are operated by people who want to stay healthy and alive as much as we do. But that may be asking too much. Perhaps drivers close to us are very sick, very angry, very overmedicated, or some combination thereof. We have little control over such possibilities. And perhaps our own vehicles or bodies are ticking time bombs.

   Really!

   Advice to myself and my family: Whenever driving a car, assume that every other driver is out to kill you. Leave yourself space and always drive with a “plan of escape” if a car breaks the rules and comes after you. (Of course, remember all the other driver’s ed stuff.)

   And as you age, you need to be more careful–careful to face the unexpected.

   As we look at history and consider the risks of the past–experiences that make make us shudder¹: riding a horse to round up cattle, roofing houses and barns with flimsy ladders, moving large blocks of stone–barefoot or sandal-clad–to build tall castles and cathedrals, warring with swords and spears with no medicine or hospital assistance nearby, sailing past the edge your map (and the edge of the world), etc. I wonder how our brave heroes of the past, suddenly thrust into the motorized chariots competing on our superhighways would react.

   React to the continually facing possibility of sudden death only inches away that we, sometimes far too calmly, take in stride.

   As I sip my first cup of coffee and turn my Kindle on, I smile and mentally check off 1, 2, 3, and 4, and on a roll, move on to the next numbers…

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   ¹ My moment of terror, that made me an unusually cautious child, was running fast and taking a freakish fall on an elementary-school playground (playing sheep-and-the-wolf) that required putting two screws in a spiral-fractured femur me in a body cast for six weeks.