I've had several incidences over the past three years that made me realize how quickly life can end.
This morning on the way to work, I drove by a car that was stopped in the middle of a busy road, with the driver door open, and a man pointing a gun at people as they drove by.
I was one of those people.
People ask how sure I am that it was a gun. Well, sure enough to get my heart racing through my mouth, and for me to call 911.
But no one around me seemed to notice. The girl behind me didn't seem freaked out. The guy next to me looked over at me like any driver would glance at the car next to them.
Was I going crazy?
When I arrived to work, which is about 5 minutes drive from where I had seen the gun-wielding man, I heard sirens. At that point, I thought it was best to call the police.
Regardless of what I saw, it was a great reminder to me that life can literally end in an instant. And sometimes, it can be completely random, completely unjust, and completely the wrong place at the wrong time.
These things we cannot control. And we can't be fearful. All we CAN do is choose how we respond to these incidents, how we treat people, and how we go about our days.
While extremely unpleasant, I do see value in life-altering or fear-inducing experiences if we choose to see them as perspective builders. What I don't want to do is let it traumatize me. Instead, I will use it as another sign that life is precious, and we need to squeeze every ounce of juice from it for as long as we're alive.
Live with substance!