For What It’s Worth,
Consider Learning From Mistakes

By E. J. Bradshaw

As a sixteen year old boy working as a brakeman for the Illinois Central Railroad during World War Two, I had to memorize most of the Rule Book as well as learn all that was my tasks required to get the train down the tracks. I remember the two weeks spent in training in Memphis, TN. Their definition of an accident was, “An accident is that which could not have been avoided.” By that definition, most of what we call “an accident” is the result of carelessness, lack of attention, neglect of duty, and human error. Such failure can be and often is very costly. The cost can be a total loss, or we can learn from our mistakes!

About two weeks ago while visiting in Monroe, I rear ended a pickup which was being driven by one of Monroe’s finest, a young off duty policeman. He stopped at a red light and I was too close to stop in time. Luckily, no one was hurt. We were both Christians so no one was “cussed out.” I received a ticket and rightly so; and my auto received extensive damage. So my mistake was quite expensive! Some things I’ve learned and knowledge that will be useful in the future are: (one) you cannot recall even a second. Whatever happened in that second is history; so, pay attention and focus on preventing the same future error! (Two) Once you are involved with the consequences of yours or someone else’s mistake, losing your temper (cool) and throwing a cussing fit won’t change or help anything. Such behavior only highlights one’s lack of maturity and makes things worse for everyone! My grandfather’s advice, “When you get your hand in a lion’s mouth, work easy ‘till you get it out” is applicable!

(Three) A question of utmost importance is, “What did I do wrong and how can I prevent this from happening again?” I know what I did wrong. I glanced over to read a sign on a building to see if it was the business I was looking for; and just taking my eyes off the street traffic for a brief second made the difference. I locked my brakes and skidded under his trailer hitch. So while driving, telephoning, texting and alley hopping looking for antique cars is OUT! I learned, and I hope you will learn from my mistake.

(Four) I learned not to worry over bent scrap iron and split plastic! That can be replaced, or one can live without it. Again, Thank God, no one was hurt! And (five) I learned by the casual and official meeting, Monroe has two very nice, polite, courteous, and efficient policemen. Thanks!! Many local citizens took the time to minister to my every need. I thank them for their concern for and attention to me! God Bless!

You may contact E. J. Bradshaw at 337-238-0440;