Distractions and diversions . . .

Horse Blinders

. . . compiled from information on the internet

Unlike the name suggests, horse blinders, also known as blinkers or winkers, do not blind horses. Horse blinders are firm leather squares or plastic cups that attach to a horse’s bridle or hood and prevent a horse from seeing behind and beside him. Horses that pull wagons and carriages wear blinkers to prevent them from becoming distracted or panicked by what they see behind or beside the wagon.

Horses have peripheral vision. A horse’s eyes are located on the sides of his head, allowing him to see a panoramic view of the world. In fact, horses can see a nearly full circle around themselves except for a small blind spot in front of their noses and behind their tails. Blinders cover the rear and side vision of the horse, forcing him to focus only in a forward direction. The reduction in vision for horses wearing blinders is significant and can reduce a horse’s vision from >180 degrees to as little as 30 degrees, depending on the size and depth of the blinders.

Some thoughts on life’s “interferences” . . .

Commercials are cleverly designed to mess with our brains and distract us. Same goes for unsolicited ads on the internet. Companies that sponsor ads are vying for our $$$. The ad blocker installed on my computer helps but it isn’t perfect. It’s quite effective at catching unwanted ads, but sometimes it hinders me from getting on an intended website. Frustrating. Compare to taking your usual route to the grocery store and encountering conspicuous Detour signs. . . turn right and proceed . . . only to be confronted with another Detour. Hopefully, you arrive at your destination but not via your chosen route nor in your anticipated time frame. Life’s little hiccups.

On occasion, we could all use a set of those nifty horse blinders to help block petty distractions that divert our attention and waste our time. But other times . . .

adapted from KTLA.com

Amber Joy Leist, a 41-year-old off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detective, was killed this past Sunday morning, January 12, 2020. While stopped at a red traffic light controlling a major intersection, Detective Leist observed an elderly couple crossing the street and saw the woman fall down in the crosswalk. Without hesitation, she promptly exited her vehicle and went to assist the woman. You could say Detective Leist was distracted and diverted from her intended course of travel to help someone in need. After helping the elderly woman get up and ushering the couple safely across the intersection, Detective Leist ran back to her vehicle and was fatally struck by another vehicle. Perhaps in her haste, she neglected to see the traffic light had turned green for opposing traffic and forgot to use due caution when returning to her car. How terribly sad that Amber was killed while providing aid to a fellow citizen. Many Sheriff’s employees and family agree that Detective Leist was always quick to provide assistance. A truly selfless individual who will be sorely missed.

You may want to read the the biblical account of the good Samaritan— in Jesus’ own words. It can be found in the 10th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, beginning with verse 25 and continuing through verse 37. Prior to the Samaritan traveler coming along, two men using the same route had already noticed a bloodied man who had been left to die after a brutal attack by bandits. Unlike the Samaritan man, those men kept their distance from the injured man and made a decision to not get involved. Perhaps they were headed to an important meeting or had plans and didn’t want to be sidetracked. The Samaritan stopped, dismounted his donkey, and observed the severity of the man’s injuries. He felt sympathy for the stranger, disregarded the “inconvenience” of the unexpected diversion, began rendering aid, somehow managed to get the injured man on his donkey, and took him to an inn. Whatever the Samaritan’s plans were, he didn’t consider his agenda more important than helping another human being in dire straits. After spending the night at the inn with the man—which, no doubt, provided the injured man with a degree of added comfort—the Samaritan gave the innkeeper money to cover additional expenses. During a time of distress, we’d all be grateful to receive help from such a kind, honest, unpretentious individual.

Perhaps we should consider loosening our grip on our urgent projects and crammed-full schedules and be ready to help when the need arises. One never knows when that moment may come.

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