How jump starting your car can have a profound effect on your view of life

February 19, 2009

Have you ever had your jump start cable burst into flames as you tried to jump start your stalled battery. Well, that’s exactly what happened a few days ago in my garage. Let me back up here a bit and get to the beginning.

One of our cars had a dead battery. We knew it had to be replaced; we were just too lazy to get it fixed. My significant other, my wonderful husband, decided that we had to jump start it as quickly as possible since we had get to our daughter's piano lesson. My husband connected the cables and turned on the engine, but, there was no response from our stalled vehicle.

All of a sudden, I noticed smoke arising from the cable. I screamed at my husband to turn off the vehicle as the smoke started to fill up the garage. The next few events happened in seconds and I know, this sounds like a cliché, but it seemed like an eternity.

As the plastic on the cable started to melt, a part of the cable caught fire and the flames started moving towards the car’s battery since the cables were still connected to both cars. I grabbed a heavy, blue, blanket, which luckily, happened to be lying in the garage, rushed towards the car, and started beating the flames out. The fire died out, and we picked up the burnt, remnants of the yellow plastic from the engine of our car and cleaned the floor of the garage.

The rest of the evening my mind kept going back to the incident. I knew that if I hadn’t been able to put out that fire, we were very close to having our cars blown up, and since this happened in our garage, our house would have also burned down, and we may have all been killed.

While I tried not to dwell too much on this, a few things struck me which, I know, is common knowledge but which we tend to forget.

  • Life can cease to exist in a blink of an eye. This is, definitely, not a staggering revelation except to teenagers, who believe they are immortal. Everyone is aware of the ephemeral nature of life, but sometimes we need these experiences to contemplate what it means and take stock of what’s important and meaningful to us.
  • Procrastination causes bigger problems. Never get into the habit of putting things off. It will only lead to messier situations.
  • Be grateful for today. I never like to say I had a bad day and I advice my kids not to as well. All days are good if we have a roof over our heads, three meals, a warm bed, and good health. The other crappy things that happen are challenges that strengthen us.
  • And Never Ever mix up the positive and negative terminals of your jump start cable.
Do you think we need to experience some kind of ordeal to see clearly, what is right before us?

In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.
-Robert Frost

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