Threats & Openings

On a cool Saturday morning, I was at a large, loud four-way intersection. Lanes of trucks sped south from Manhattan. Lanes of cars sped west across Brooklyn.

I had walked this intersection before. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little intimidated by the velocity of the traffic.

And I did what I normally do when I'm intimidated: I trimmed my vision down to the threats. In this case, the cars coming alongside me and going left across the crosswalk.

So, I stood on that corner, turned my head to those cars, and I watched. And I watched. And I watched. That's right, I told the traffic, you're not going to blindside me.

And I watched those cars for so long that I forgot to look at the walk sign and missed my opening to cross the intersection.

I waited at the corner for the next walk signal. And as I waited, it struck me how easy it is to get so distracted by threats that we miss the openings.

Which are often right there, if only we remember to turn our heads.

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