Posts Tagged ‘Warnings’

Waze AppMore out of curiosity than necessity today, I used the smart phone app Waze on the 190-mile round trip to and from my parents’ farm.  I wanted to see how accurate it was in mapping my progress using GPS and warning me of potential trouble spots along the route.  It does much more than that, but keeping abreast of traffic issues – especially in our first winter weather conditions – was the main need.

I was pleased with how it performed.  It did great showing my place on the road, all nearby roads, and zoomed in or out based on the speed I was traveling.  When completely stopped, it popped up some displays showing nearby accidents or hazards or reports from other Waze users, going back to the navigational map automatically when the car started moving again.

One of the surprises was when the female voice suddenly warned me of things ahead like a car stopped on the shoulder of the road or, as it did the other night, an accident ahead.  Overall, I was quite pleased with the app and can see using it frequently when I drive in the city or on longer trips.

The experience made me think about the value of things like seeing the bigger picture rather than just what lies immediately ahead, and the value of having someone warn you when you are heading down a potentially hazardous or troublesome path.  When it comes to traffic and the value of GPS, we likely don’t argue with the benefit and readily trust the information given (although it can be inaccurate, of course).

However, what about other life paths we follow and decisions we make daily.  Are they done with a larger, long-term picture in mind or with only the next few moments under consideration?  How open are we to the early warnings of friends, family and coworkers, or do we insist on traveling down some predetermined road because it’s what we want come hell or high water?

It seems like we ought to be more open to receiving guidance – not just giving it, and not only after we’ve barreled our way into formidable roadblocks.

Leap year lesson #356 is Listen to early warnings.

While walking my dog tonight, I walked past a house and heard a large tree limb crack over the driveway where the owners’ car was parked.  I looked up in time to see the large limb sink about a foot or two, but not break completely or fall to the ground (or car).  Immediately I went to the front door and surprised the owner who had his wife hold their dog while he peeked out the door like I was the boogeyman.  When I told them what I just saw and heard and that they might want to check it out before it falls and hurts something, they were very grateful.

It was a simple gesture – the neighborly thing to do even though I don’t know them.  It would have been so easy to not warn them and just keep on walking.  Stopping and warning, however, was the kind thing to do.  It’s what I hope someone would do if the same happened as they walked by my house.

The question immediately came to mind about how often we do or do not pause from our planned path to warn others of impending danger.  Whether that danger is a bad business decision, a harmful relationship, a financial decision with little chance to turn out well, choices that threaten your health or career – whatever it may be – it is most likely the right thing to do to pause from our activity long enough to give a gentle warning or express concern.  The intent isn’t to be bossy or control others’ lives, but to care about the welfare of those around us.

If we do that, we should also be open to the possibility that others might warn us from time to time.  That’s probably harder to take than handing out warnings, but just as important.

Are there people around you at work, at home, at school, in your neighborhood or along your daily path that could use a cautionary word?  Is there someone that has been trying to get you to listen to such a word from them?

Leap year lesson #175 is Take time to give and heed warnings.