Conventional wisdom tells us that the most dangerous place is our own homes. Accidents, fires and domestic violence are attributed with bringing more injuries, and even deaths, there than we’d encounter almost anywhere else. If we’ve survived this far into life, we have figured out the big stuff. We pay attention when using a sharp knife. We pay attention when working over a hot stove. We pay attention when parking the car in the attached garage. But even with smoke detectors and public service announcements, we seem to be missing the warning signs at our peril.
Falling in the bathtub, missing a stair, forgetting a lit candle – these are the mundane and undetected killers. One is reminded, as American poet Emily Elizabeth Dickenson correctly predicted over 100 years ago, that, “If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.” But many of us live lives of harried exasperation. We multi-task (I’m not sure I even know what this term now means – but I am confident that it is not a good idea). We are so preoccupied with our media and connectivity that we can barely remember the basics. We allow our bodies to be polluted with excess and atrophy from lack of use. We fall because we try to carry too much on a single trip. Overloaded and overburdened, we negate many of the tremendous advances offered by modern developments in product creation and manufacturing, instead taking vast, if unknown, risks to extract more from our days.
Winter brings with it snow shovels and icy walkways – both killers! Add to the list the ladder required to remove the last of the Christmas decorations, and we are living in a war zone. Well, maybe it is not quite a war zone; but there is real danger. Be careful!