Just one careless action, a reckless thought, or a negligent mistake can change the entire lifestyle of a whole family or community. Just one simple mistake made in haste is capable of defining doom for some particular set of persons. It is quite painful that some set of persons do lack the capacity to rationalize on the consequences of their actions before embarking on such.
Many may claim that everything which happens on this earth has been predestined (by God). Hence, we seek to attribute our misfortunes to be beyond our control, when in reality we are the masters of our own fortunes. Let us just for once assume that every single (unfortunate) incident is the will of the Almighty, does this mean that God in his infinite mercy will allow calamities to befall his faithful servants? Indeed, there are some questions which we as human beings have no locus standi to ask, and this is one of such.
However, as the proponents of Freewill have postulated in the past, this writer inclusive, we are solely in control of our wits. We are the masters of our actions and as such should be made to face full responsibility for whatever ill our actions and inactions might cause. It would amount to injustice if we are permitted to hide behind the cloak of predestination as a defence for our mistakes. Of course, God is aware of our actions, and he can in several ways influence how we act. But in the crucial minutes which lead to our actions, we are solely in control and responsible for whatever thoughts that make us act as such. For instance, a person who drinks heavily before embarking on a journey cannot and should not be allowed to postulate that for whatever reason, God in his infinite knowledge has already predestined the ensuing accident to occur.
It is therefore extremely painful to hear about certain accidents which arise as a result of the culpable negligence of some certain overzealous individuals who believe that their every action is ordained by some deity of some sort. Indeed, the Law imposes upon every person a duty to exercise due care in his everyday dealings with his neighbour. It is therefore inconsistent with this duty of care imposed on us to have a supplementary misconception that our actions are anointed and ordained by God. Divine anointing cannot cloak one’s eyes to the extent that he would be unable to perceive an oncoming vehicle whilst driving at night.
There are two major causes of accidents in Nigeria: negligence and recklessness. There is a thin line separating the two concepts. As earlier postulated, the Law imposes a duty on every man to exercise a reasonable amount of care in his every day dealings. This duty of care is one which has been scripturally and spiritually noticed when Jesus Christ mandated us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Without an observance to this duty of care, our society would degenerate into a Hobessian state where life would be invariably brutish, nasty, and succinctly short. A rigid observance to this said duty would no doubt reduce the spate of crime and civil mishaps we experience in contemporaneous society.
A slight deviation from this mandatory duty is what gives rise to negligence. When we fail to act up to the standard which both the Law and God expects from us. A failure to act, however innocent our intentions might be could be very disastrous to the lives of others. For instance, a failure to place warning lights at appropriate quarters, failure to observe simple traffic regulations, etc are examples of negligent acts which could lead to accident.
Recklessness on the other hand, is when a person in a fit of euphoria, or under the influence of some stimulating substances, be it spiritual or intoxicating, self-induced or administered by coercion, real or illusory; refuses to take certain steps, or takes certain steps which a reasonable right thinking man of the same intellectual level would ordinarily not do. For one to know as a fact that a certain course of action would result in harm being done to another person or his property, yet he still goes ahead to indulge in such action. For instance, when a driver knows that whilst driving against the traffic, he is probable to crash into an oncoming vehicle, or when he knows that he is exceeding the speed limit, or driving against the traffic light. In circumstances of recklessness, the reckless actor need not have an evil intention. In fact, he may be acting in good faith, but no amount of such good faith can justify the unnecessary loss of human life or property.
There is no reason why a family should lose their breadwinner or dearly beloved child to some reckless maniac operating under a self-induced illusion.
It is high time people began to respect the lives of others and hold such in high esteem. Even if one has an innate wish to take his life yonder beyond on a journey, he should at least take care to ensure that he takes only his own life.