A recent article from Yahoo! News describes a 21-year-old Australian girl named Kimberly Davis (pictured) who was texting and driving when she hit a cyclist from behind, throwing him from his bike and leaving him with multiple injuries, including a fractured spine that required emergency surgery and left him in a wheelchair for months. Did she care? Apparently not. In fact, she was actually angry at the cyclist. After the accident, Davis left the man on the side of the road and refused to help him. When officers later questioned her about the accident, she said, “I just don’t care…and my car is like pretty expensive and now I have to fix it…. I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car.”
As hard as it is to believe that anyone could be so apathetic and self-centered, this is a true story. And unfortunately, Miss Davis got off pretty easy considering her recklessness and the harm she did to the cyclist. She was fined approximately $4,200 and lost her driver’s license for 9 months. She spent no time in jail. We can only hope that Miss Davis will do some real soul searching while she’s riding in others’ cars for a while. Because if she doesn’t she’s on a different sort of crash course that will leave her the seriously injured one.
Who you are is up to you. It’s not up to your circumstances. It’s not up to your friends. It’s not even up to your parents. While all the forces around you can have an effect on you, how much they effect you is your decision. The worst thing you can do is take a backseat to your own life and act like you don’t care what happens inside you or around you. Apathy always leads to pain and regret. But apathy is deceptive. It lets you get by for a while—sometimes for years—with little more than a bump or bruise to the ego.
When you’re young, it’s all-too-easy to conclude that apathy isn’t a big deal. It’s a lie that often won’t be revealed until who you are matters most, like when you’re pursuing a dream job or a real relationship with someone you care about—or when you’ve found yourself in a pit you can’t climb out of alone. When who you are suddenly matters, you can’t just flip a switch and change history. Who you are today will follow you and ultimately determine what opportunities, resources, and help you have tomorrow. Don’t wait to be the best you. It’s in your control. And it matters far more than you might be able to see today.