An Unfortunate Event

A friend of mine relayed this story to me last week:

He was starting out on a trip and had just gotten on the road. He hadn’t gotten up to speed and was completely focused on the road. A young girl on a bike pulled out in front of him and he almost hit her. Fortunately he was paying attention and was able to brake and swerve to avoid the accident.

He wanted me to bring the incident up here because if it had been posted on his timeline there would have been a lot of posts of “God was looking out for you” or “Guardian angels were protecting her”. But is that really the case? What if you don’t believe in gods? In that case it is great that an tragic accident was avoided because my friend was paying attention (and he had good brakes).

The next tendency is to blame the parents for not teaching their daughter to watch carefully before biking out onto the road. That was my initial reaction, but my friend pointed out that you can’t really blame a little girl for being a little girl. That’s a legitimate argument: you can teach your kids about every situation but sometimes they’re just going to be kids and forget to think things through.

What if he hadn’t stopped in time? My friend is of the opinion that if he had hit the girl he doesn’t think he would have been charged. He was doing below the speed limit and was focused on the road. Of course he would have felt horrible for having injured or killed her even if he couldn’t have controlled the outcome. The religious talk then becomes that “Her guardian angel saved her life” if she had only been injured to “God was calling an angel back to Heaven” if she had died.

Sometimes people die because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, other times it is just bizarre coincidences that stack up. Any way around, the reason this girl was saved wasn’t due to divine intervention, rather it was due to fast reflexes and good engineering. Can’t serious harm be prevented without interference by unseen forces?

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