Addicted To Chance

By Sue Schools

sunset lake chapala


This morning a fantastic sunrise glimmered over Lake Chapala while the moon shimmered in the other part of the sky ... my personal paradise and I am blessed to be here. Then, why am I blue?

I live in gated community up above the main Guadalajara highway, on a quiet cul-de-sac that is protected from the craziness that is our world. A neighbor told me yesterday that a dog had been hit by a car and managed to crawl home before passing, barely four houses from me. Violence and death have no place in my tranquil life. Or do they?

A family up the road adopted two dogs, a male and a female who were obviously littermates cast out onto the streets. Sweet dogs who now had food and the comfort of shelter plus jungle paths with enchanting secrets. They were put in a small fenced yard, but the mutts were intent on escape and exploration. The female had a terrible habit of chasing cars. Not only chasing, but running back and forth in front and trying to bite at the whirling tires, sapping and snarling in a game with all odds stacked against her. It was only a matter of time ….

Why did she leave the safety of her yard to seek out danger?

This dog might have been bored or maybe she had an inexplicable instinct to unknowingly risk all for a few moments of thrill. Is that the way it is with Drug Users? Alcoholics? Gamblers? Smokers? Overeaters? Are they addicted to chance? Is there such a thing as a Russian Roulette Syndrome? Do some lack the ability to overcome destructive urges and to channel negative energies into positive achievements? We might never be able to comprehend these behaviors but I understand one truth.

The real victims of these unreasonable actions are the loved ones or bystanders: the driver of the car who could not slow down in time or even see the streak of silver fur jumping from side to side beside the front fender. And what about the neighbor who cried silent tears as he lifted the warm, limp body and carried it away. Each of us carries a memory of helplessness in our hearts. And I mourn for us all … the fallen and those left behind.

Just because you can swim, it doesn’t mean you don’t need a life vest. And even though you are a good driver, you still need a safety belt. You wouldn’t skydive without a parachute. A cyclist should wear a helmet, and for God’s sake, do not pass on the right. Why dash out into traffic? If you trip, you’ll be crushed. You might as well eat raw oysters in July or back off a cliff while taking a selfie.

I can hear sirens crossing over the pass towards Ixtlahuacan and wait to hear them return, taking someone’s loved one to the Emergency Room. This usually occurs about sunset and I fear the driver has been enjoying our lakeside hospitality and tequila. Of course he/she shouldn’t be driving, but we should be on the lookout for them. (Have you ever seen or heard the Jaws of Life being used?)

We should all be responsible for ourselves and others. Remember, it can happen to you, and at any time.

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