Fatigue: Abuse and Driving

On the trip home yesterday, it was really windy, but the roads were clear and the sun was out. Conditions were very good for a December drive. I encountered a few impatient drivers. One was rather annoying, who found my passing speed of 5mph over the limit to be insufficient. She flashed her brights at me to hurry the heck up. A few minutes later, I saw her tailgating two other vehicles about an eighth-of-a-mile ahead. I told my wife I was pulling back a bit from that mess. I don’t like when people get cocky on the roads. Winds were gusting to 60, and that’s not an insigificant factor when dodging around trucks and compact cars. I had to stay vigilant all the way home, but I expected it. My dad impressed on me the value of being a defensive driver–of watching out for potential problems and being ready.

I was reading on the Virtus site earlier today about that theme of vigilance:

 (R)egardless of the good efforts we make to eliminate risky adults from our lives, sometimes predators slip through the obstacles we impose. As a result, we need to keep our guard up at all times. We need to know what’s going on with our children and maintain and expand our communication with them.

I don’t find this a bother, this matter of keeping my guard up at all times. I do it when I’m driving. I’ve  become accustomed to doing it when there are numbers of children at a church or community or even a family activity. Some of my friends, though, have come to sigh over this vigilance. It’s almost as if there’s a hope that sex predators will just go away. I can attest from many years of driving that people still make poor choices on the road. The other winter, I saw a car trying to pass me, taking it at a speed, I would not have dared. I saw flying snow, a spinning car, and a guy who likely just spoiled his day.

I think when we’re committed to keep our families safe, we will do almost anything. With other people’s kids, the fatigue factor sets in sooner–that’s only human. But I think we have to realize that sex predators aim to slip through our vigilance, and count on leaders to get fatigued. But the thing of it is: if everybody gears themselves to the guard, someone will always be on the watch.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Ministry, sex abuse. Bookmark the permalink.

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