Being Human


Don’t you just hate it when the the safety police (or your wife) smugly remind you how you should have done a job properly? Like they would have done any different given the same circumstances. It’s easy to carp after the event with ‘I told you so’. It’s no secret that most of us think we are better drivers than everyone else on the road (which can’t be true) and everyone out there is an idiot (which possibly is true).

I’ve done some stupid things but actually they didn’t seem that stupid at the time. In fact I’m writing this blog whilst recovering from my latest DIY plumbing-related eye injury. I can hear the sniggering in the background already. All I’ll say is that it could have happened to anyone and I was just a victim of that random combination of circumstances that we always think just happens to others. Importantly, I got the job done (the stigma of only half finishing a job is too hard to bear) and only had to waste 2 days waiting at A&E and the eye clinic.

Things only seem stupid (or at least ill advised) after the event. In my case, the questionable activities were often motivated by enthusiasm, impatience and a desire to get the job done. Whilst there are cases of deliberate rule violation and sabotage, most of the time people are trying to do the right thing, just doing it wrongly. In doing so they often resort to innovation and adaptation (i.e. using the wrong tools). That’s what I love about humans (I would like to point out that I am not an alien) – the undying ability to invent, innovate, adapt and utilise what they have to new situations. Sometimes we get it wrong (tools are made of cheese) but mostly it works. I’m not defending a ‘gung ho’ attitude here. Just that it’s pretty interesting.

Minor accidents can be good for the soul. And before that elicits a sharp intake of breath or gratuitous violence (whatever your leaning – but at least start on yourself first), what I mean is that good can come of them. I was lucky and, for a while at least, I’ll be stopping to fit my goggles before such activities (unless I’m pushed for time…).