It’s funny, when the way forward is uneven, broken, or fraught with danger, and someone just puts out a sign (and orange cone) warning you to be careful.
Sure, it’s the responsible thing to do — protect people from misstepping.
But even with the largest, loudest warnings, there always seem to be some people who just go right ahead anyway and tempt fate — they step on that 2nd broken stair.
Maybe it doesn’t give way (this time for this person) or maybe it does.
But they are too busy, too much in a rush, or too cocky to pay heed or else they like to play the odds — hey, what are the odds that something will actually happen to “me”?
The more cautious, perhaps smarter folks look for another way — using their ingenuity to go over, under, or around the obstacle in their path — in this case stepping over the broken 2nd step.
Other may yet be deterred altogether and just turn backwards, giving up on their trek or just stop in their tracks like a deer in the headlights frozen by indecision.
I’d suggest that it is well worth it to take the time to look around you, sense the environment, and make a sound judgement before giving up or stepping stupidly into the ditch, minefield, quicksand, or on the broken step.
It’s much harder to get out of trouble than to avoid it to begin with.
I joke with one of my colleagues that they always have time to do things a second time (always!), but because they are rushing, never enough time — or focus — to do it right the first one.
Watch your step, because some of them of definitely broken. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)