Brownness

Loss in Silence

things-todo-today-is-get-up-survive-and-go-back-to-the-bed-very-funny-quote-black-quotes-about-life-and-death-930x827It’s been a rough week for  many, and it got worse as we got news of a family friend passing away as well as a dear friend losing her cat. Add to that the entire conversations on social media going on about Race, Police, Racism, and then hearing others with either passionate views, it just felt as if I was bursting full with emotions. So I did what I know when I am overwhelmed. I switched off.

One of the things I have learned is that passionate others are, it does not help me to respond or get involved in a discussion. This is not to say I am apathetic or weak, but that I know from experience that responding with emotion really enrolls no one especially ones who are the opposite from me. Then it hits me, why is it important to convince others of my viewpoint. As “right” as I feel in my feelings about people of color, it does me or anyone else no good when I preach or lecture.

It comes back to the same theme: responsibility. I am responsible for my feelings, thoughts and actions.  I cannot control others nor should I want to. What I can do is work on myself and my surroundings. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that I don’t want to get involved, just that I get to be present and really notice where I can be of healing help. We are all entitled to our opinions, but we are also responsible for our actions. Until our actions match with our opinions, all we are doing is standing on a fictitious higher ground. So I love myself, others around me, and continue working on the one things I know I can to make this a better place: myself. Not financially, not materially but as a person of social and spiritual consciousness.

Brownness

10 Things To Do When In A Car Accident (Part 1): Legal Reasons #14

Distracted_Driving_Desktop_UpdatedWith the advent of smartphones and constant distraction, car accidents are on the rise. Daily, I hear about accidents involving not paying attention. If you are involved in an accident, keep this checklist in mind.

1. If I have an auto accident, do I have to stop?

Yes. California law says you must stop—whether the accident involves a pedestrian, a moving car, a parked car or someone’s property. If you drive away, you can be charged with hit and run even if the accident was not your fault.

If you hit a parked car or other property, try to find the owner or driver. If you cannot, the law says you may drive away only after you leave behind, in a conspicuous place, your name, address and an explanation of the accident, and the name and address of your car’s owner (if other than yourself).

You must call the police or the CHP if the accident caused a death or injury. An officer who comes to the scene of the accident will conduct an investigation. If an officer doesn’t show up, you must make a written report on a form available at the police department or CHP office as soon as possible.

2. What should I do if someone is injured?

The law requires you to give reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured. For example, you may need to call an ambulance, take the injured person to a doctor or hospital, or give first aid—if you know how.

To help prevent additional collisions, try to warn other motorists that an accident has occurred. Placing flares on the road (only if there are no flammable fluids or items nearby), turning on your car’s hazard lights and lifting the engine hood are usually good ways to warn others on the road. Arrange to get help for anyone who is injured, and try not to panic.

3.What information should I gather at the accident scene?

You and the other driver should show each other your driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations. Then you should write down:

  • The other driver’s name, address, date of birth, telephone number, driver’s license number and expiration date, and insurance company.
  • The other car’s make, year, model, license plate number and expiration date, and vehicle identification number.
  • The names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance companies of the other car’s legal and registered owners—if the driver does not own the car.
  • The names, addresses, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers and telephone numbers of any passengers in the other car.
  • The names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. Ask them to stay to talk to the CHP or police. If they insist on leaving, ask them to tell you what they saw and write everything down.
  • Try to identify people at the accident scene, even if they will not give their names. For example, if someone who saw the accident drives off, take down his or her license plate number. Law enforcement officials can trace the owner’s name and address.
  • The name and badge number of the law officer who comes to the accident scene. Ask the officer where and when you can get a copy of any accident report.
  • A simple diagram of the accident. Draw the positions of both cars before, during and after the accident. If there are skid marks on the road, pace them off. Draw them on the diagram, noting the distance they cover. Mark the positions of any crosswalks, stop signs, traffic lights or streetlights. If you have a camera with you, take pictures of the scene, and of the other drivers and occupants. However, do not place yourself in a position of danger in order to complete an accident diagram. Be aware of traffic conditions and skip any measurements that could place you in a position of harm.
    Make notes, too, on weather and road conditions. If the accident happened after dark, note whether the streetlights were on. Estimate your speed and that of the other vehicle. Be sure to record the exact time, date and place the accident happened.
5. If I think the accident was my fault, should I say so?

Do not volunteer any information about who was to blame for the accident. You may think you are in the wrong and then learn that the other driver is as much or more to blame than you are. You should first talk to your insurance agent, your lawyer or both. Anything you say to the police or the other driver can be used against you later.

Do not agree to pay for damages or sign any paper except a traffic ticket until you check with your insurance company or lawyer.

However, be sure to cooperate with the police officer investigating the case. But, stick to the facts. For instance, if you were driving 30 miles an hour, say so. Do not say, “I wasn’t speeding.”

 
Food For Thought

me-first-dayThe Tuesday after a long weekend is always a mixed bag of emotions. From the eagerness to get back into my routine to the realization of how much there is to do to grounding myself that even if I wasted the weekend in terms of productivity I got to spend time with loved ones. Today is a chance to pick up the mantle I left on Friday. To choose to go back to who I know I can be when I put my mind to things. To get back to being more than just existing. To make a difference, to be healthy, to be present, to contribute, to just not pass days not making an impact on my goals.

But I also start today with a bit of anxiety. Beating myself up for not doing more on my days off, for eating badly, for not doing more things. I realize that this mental soundtrack can take over me sometimes and instead of enjoying the day off, I spend it in regret. I forget to practice gratitude for having the opportunity to enjoy these free moments. It’s then I realize I have gotten into the “let’s get shit done” mode which is great when I am on a mission, but not so great for winding down.

The reality is that unless I get this “me and family time”, I do run down. After all, what is the point of pushing myself if I cannot rest, recover and relax. I also realize that I push myself because of a deep fear that I will fall into old habits. So I sit with these feelings for a while, and let them do what they do best: which is pass. Then I take a breath and get back onto the saddle of responsibility. Wish me luck!