Jordan Ogren

March 18, 2022

What a deadly crash can teach us about life.

“I waited in traffic for 2 hours!”

That was a comment on a Facebook post highlighting a crash on the highway.

I understand the woman’s frustration. But, when you see the images of the crash–the rear end of an SUV smashed into the front seat–the woman’s anger pails in comparison.

Compared to the pain of the people in the accident.
Compared to the call someone got that day.
Compared to the grief that will follow.

What happened, to my knowledge, was that there was a traffic jam due to another accident. A large truck with a trailer/motor home attached rear-ended a white SUV at full highway speed (70+mph) as the cars were stopped.

The car that was rear-ended was half the size it used to be. The image is still stuck in my head as we drove past it on the other side of the highway.

As we drove away, an SUV passed us with two kids in the back seat watching a show. All I could think of was if they were in the white SUV, they would be dead.

In moments like those, I’m reminded of the fragility of life. In a few seconds, your entire life could change.

And while someone is getting a call about their wife and kids being in a horrible crash, someone is commenting about how they had to wait TWO HOURS IN TRAFFIC!

It’s not a dig at the woman. She may not have looked at the images or drove past it, as I did.

It’s a dig at our concerns in life. 
It’s a dig at how much we take every moment for granted.

Getting home to your family every night is a blessing.
Being able to comment (and troll) on Facebook is a blessing.

We lose sight of these blessings and lose our shit over someone cutting us off. We bark at the person who takes extra-long processing our Starbucks order. 

Somedays, I give up on humans. I lose faith in humanity.

Obviously, we can’t drive by a horrible crash every day to be reminded of the preciousness of life. 

So, what can you and I do to move through life with more meaning and grace?

After the past year Katie and I have had, I have adopted a new practice (which I struggle to maintain). This practice helps me remain grounded in the blessings of life and move with more grace.

I imagine everyone I come across has had something horrible happen in their life.

Maybe their cat died yesterday.
Maybe they’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks.
Maybe their partner was diagnosed with a terminal illness that morning.

This allows me to express grace and kindness easier. 
It reminds me that every day is a blessing.

Imagine if everyone adopted a practice like this?

For 98% of the time, it wouldn’t bring a huge difference. But, the 2% of the time you interact with the woman whose husband passed away in a crash the day before, it will mean the world.

And you’re unlikely to ever comment on a post showing a tragic crash with a self-centered and ignorant comment.

Can we all do our part to make the world a more loving place?

Will you join me?

🧠 + ❤️ // JO