An Accident or an Incident?

Have you noticed how motorway warning signs in the UK often now refer to incidents rather than accidents e.g. speed restriction due to an incident between Junctions 10 and 11?

An accident means something bad happened; an incident simply means that something happened. What if we were to view everything that happens in our lives as incidents, removing the judgement of good or bad? Simply, something happens, we become aware of it, it has consequences and we take care of them.

There’s a Buddhist parable about a man who has been shot in the eye with an arrow. What is needed is removal of the arrow and medical attention to the wound, not sitting around discussing who fired it, why, and how awful it is. Some time soon it would be wise to find out more about the incident and take any action that is called for to minimise the risk of future harm. But right now let go of the judgements and blaming and help remove the arrow!

(The arrow is a metaphor for the human suffering caused by fearing bad stuff happening to us and obsessively chasing after what we think is the good stuff. It is also what blinds us to our true nature.)

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3 thoughts on “An Accident or an Incident?

  1. Norman Trewhitt

    Gasshō to that.
    I think we are sometimes too quick to think worst case scenarios when the reality is an inconvenience rather than a disaster.
    Just a thought.

    1. Alicia Post author

      Hello Norman, Thank you for the thought. I just looked up inconvenience and it is defined as trouble or difficulty caused to one’s personal requirements or comfort. One’s personal requirements…hmm!

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