It’s not a coinsidence that humans cannot relate to the worst possible scenarios in life. We are simply unable to even consider something horrible happening to us. But horrible things happen everyday and it’s up to you to protect yourself, your children, your loved ones. It’s important for young people to know that this whole “YOLO” philosophy is the biggest stupidity ever invented and it’s one reason to be ashamed of the generation I belong to.
Yes, yes… I know it sounds tempting and brave and charming, but think about it; really think about it. This phrase “You only live once”, is absolutely true; we only get one chance and it’s stupid to risk our lives when all we have to do to protect ourselves sometimes is small things and little compromises.
I generally don’t like to talk nonsense without getting around to a point, so I am going to tell you a story which hopefully will make you realise why I am in the mood to write something so mellow and “conservative” as some would say…Here goes:
I am a quiet person. Of course I have a good sense of humour and a very loving heart but I am overall a quiet person. I am a family man and that’s the way I love my life. I have a 22 year old daughter from my previous marriage and two young boys from my current one and I have origins from Paros where I have a house and I go every year with my family (usually my wife and the boys because my daughter usually has courses when I can get time off for vacation). That was the plan for this year as well, and that is what happened, until I experienced a life changing event, both for me and my family.
It was afternoon and I was relaxing at my balcony with my family overlooking the street a little down bellow our garage door and far away the sea. The road outside our house is the one continuous and main road that goes all around Paros, therefore you have to cross it to go to many central and popular beaches or villages. While I was looking at my kids’ smiling faces and did not have a care in the world I heard this deafening sound and saw a huge truck abruptly stoping right outside our garage door accompanied with screams and a lot of noise. My first instinct was to run and see what happened, my second instinct when I saw it in front of me was to help.
Two Italian 18 year old girls on a motorcycle had lost control of it and crushed on the truck which run over one of them. The girl was covered in blood and not wanting to be more graphic I am going to spare you the details, but it was not pretty. I immediately called an ambulance and the police. The other girl wasn’t hurt besides some scratches but she was in sock, sitting on the steps of our houses’ entrance, not talking, not flinching, almost not breathing. I went next to the other girl which was still alive, breathing but not talking and obviously in a huge amount of pain. She looked like she wanted to say something but she couldn’t.
She died in my arms before the ambulance arrived. The truck hit the brakes as soon as he saw what was coming but the girl driving the bike could not return it to its normal course so she fell on it. I don’t want to imagine the life of the girl who didn’t die but lost her friend from now on. I do not want to imagine the life of the truck driver who without even doing anything wrong will have nightmares for the rest of his life and might even quit his job and never drive the truck again; and I don’t wanna imagine their lives from now on because I was the one who tried to save her, I had no responsibility in what happened but I still see her face and how much in pain she was everyday before I go to sleep. So yes, I don’t want to imagine how ugly it might be for the people who actually have responsibility for what happened.
It is illegal to rent motorcycles to 18 year olds, who probably did not have a licence for it anyway, but people do it anyway because COME ON, NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO THEM. That’s the same thing that the 18 year olds who rent them think.
It is illegal not to wear a helmet, but a lot of people don’t because they think COME ON, NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO ME.
The man in the story is actually my father and this happened to him during their vacation in Paros this summer and not only it stigmatised him but all of us; even me and I wasn’t even there.
I am taking this as a lesson to be extra careful when driving, and extra careful in life in general. Everyone wants to live wild and free but nobody actually wants to lose their life because of stupidity. It’s not a shame to take care of ourselves or the people we love. It’s not gonna make us any less interesting. It is just going to give us more chances to live longer and therefore have more experiences with our loved ones and grow old to tell our children about this stupid “YOLO” philosophy that their parents had when they were little.
Be cautious, you have nothing to lose.