NAPOLEON, one of the greatest forward thinkers the world has ever known, 
said there was no such thing as an accident, only a failure to recognise the hand of fate
 But while he might have lived by that maxim, society doesn’t have much time for it now.

Consider traffic accidents, the commonest of potentially serious mishaps. 
Nowadays, they are often euphemistically branded as “incidents”, 
and copious research is under way to identify factors implicated in a crash,
 from car colour (silver is said to be safest) to phone usage 
and even parasites that can alter drivers’ behaviour.

Our responses have been just as disparate, 
ranging from revised laws to redesigned dashboards.
(No one has proposed mandatory screening for parasites – yet.) 

Minor, and deeply human, 
errors of judgement are often at the root
 of catastrophic failures  we are increasingly using automation – 
self-driving cars, for example – to take our error-prone selves out of the loop.

That won’t stop the blame game. 
Someone, somewhere, can always be blamed: 
if not the users of automated systems, then their manufacturers, 
programmers or those who maintain the networks they often rely on. 
Increasingly omnipresent sensors allow for minutely detailed assessments of responsibility.
 Left to the lawyers and insurers, there might soon be no blame-free “accidents”at all.

This is unfamiliar territory.
 Existing laws cover some of the issues that arise,
 but we can expect some perplexing cases to come before the courts. 

As they do, we should remember that pointing the finger isn’t always productive:
 it can lead to defensiveness that stymies change, and hamper attempts to improve safety.

This has been recognised by the law for more than a century.
 In 1884, Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck – an improbable reformer – introduced “no-fault” settlements, allowing workers to be compensated for often novel industrial injuries without having to demonstrate their employers’ negligence. No-fault is still being built into law today:
 Scotland is contemplating it for medical negligence claims.

The trouble is that no-fault goes against our social instinct 
to seek out causes and allocate blame. This has generally served us well. 
Without it, we would live in a much more dangerous world than we do.

 But in chasing down blame, we should recall that a propensity 
for error is the flipside of the capacity to take risks. 
And risk-taking is a vital component of any conception of progress.

“In chasing down blame, we should recall that error is the flipside 
of taking risks and thus part of progress”

Much of the time, humans are driven by goals other than safety,
 which is added as an afterthought or at best a counterweight. 
When the balance shifts too far, derision of intrusive “nanny states” 
or overweening “health and safety” regimes is the inevitable result.

So despite what technocrats might hope, we won’t ever wipe out accidents. 
“It will become next to impossible to contract disease germs or get hurt in the city,” 
Nikola Tesla predicted in 1915. He was wrong. 
The risks he knew were simply replaced by new ones.

To err is human, to forgive divine. 
Our secular society may have no more time for divinity than for the
 Napoleonic hand of fate, and recklessness should of course be penalised. 

But we shouldn’t punish every trace of blame just because we can. 
As machines take over from humans, we must strike 
a balance between learning from their errors and prosecuting the humans
 who make and run them. That won’t happen by accident.


“If you realize that all things change, 

there is nothing you will try to hold on to. 

If you are not afraid of dying,
 there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

From a holistic viewpoint there is no such thing as an accident. 
A so-called accident is calling your attention to something unresolved, generally between you and another person. 

An accident all on your own is indicating that you are not being conscious in the moment, not being aware. When your thoughts and focus drift away from whatever it is you are doing, accidents occur. 

If two or more cars collide, there will be unresolved long-term issues between the people involved.
If they are all strangers to each other, this is all about old past life issues of anger, blame, and other negative emotions of attachments. 

People seldom see the true long-term attachments of life because they live most of the time in the illusiuon of separation. Lives are not separate, nor does time separate them; that is the appearance of illusion. It should be remembered that we are living physical linear AND metaphysical non-linear lives simultaneously. Both are equally valid in the process of creating our lives.

A good way to cut through the ties of past lives negative encounters is not to rage and blame, nor to take the offender to court for retribution, but to inhale very deeply a few times and take the freedom path by deliberately and consciously . . . choosing Love!

by Michael Roads

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