Confidence can be a killer. As the picture slowly unfolds, you wonder which will hurt more, the malfunction of a pair of $200 skates or the unexpected $200 medical bills he’s going to cough up. From the looks of it, it’s going to be both. Ouch. One will hurt the wallet and the other will hurt, well, everything else. It’s funny that accidents happens when we least expect them. Especially, when we have confidence in the things we buy and the skills we have.
When I was about 10-years-old, I was speeding my bike across a vacant lot down the street. I’ve been there many times and didn’t expect anything except to get to the other side. Suddenly I noticed fence posts lined up in front of me, from left to right. I didn’t slam the brakes. I knew, with confidence, that there was no barbed wire fence on this lot and I didn’t see any kind of wires strung across me.
In my mind I was saying, “Where the heck did these posts come from? They weren’t here yesterday! It’s unusual that there are posts and no wires running across them. Why would anyone place fence posts in the middle of an empty lot and not put any wires?” I was having this conversation with myself in a nano second.
But a nano second later I saw the barbed wire inches from my face. It was not your typical barbed wires. They were much thinner, almost invisible for a ten-year-old to see and ride a bike at the same time. What were they thinking?
No time to react. I braced myself for the contact and hoped for the best. I plowed into the wires like a butterfly in a butterfly net. I still remember swing on the wires for a moment of disgrace before landing on the ground. Luckily, I didn’t get grated by the barbs. I couldn’t say the same thing for my shirt.
Accidents can happen from a mistake in calculation or over-confidence in your knowledge, skills or surroundings. And if it didn’t maim you or kill you, then you can laugh about it and hope you become a little wiser for it.