Wednesday, August 1, 2012


STUMBLE INTO DANGER - A young man talking on a cellphone meanders along the edge of a lonely train platform at night. Suddenly he stumbles, loses his balance and pitches over the side, landing head first on the tracks. Fortunately there were no trains approaching the Philadelphia-area station at that moment, because it took the man several minutes to recover enough to climb out of danger. But the incident, captured last year by a security camera and provided to The Associated Press, underscores the risks of what government officials and safety experts say is a growing problem: distracted walking
On city streets, in suburban parking lots and in shopping centers, there is usually someone strolling while talking on a phone, texting with his head down, listening to music, or playing a video game. Reports of injuries to distracted walkers treated at hospital emergency rooms have more than quadrupled in the past seven years and are almost certainly underreported. The problem isn't as widely discussed as distracted driving, but the danger is real.

There has been a spike in pedestrians killed and injured in traffic accidents, but there is no reliable data on how many were distracted by electronics. State and local officials are struggling to figure out how to respond, and in some cases asking how far government should go in trying to protect people from themselves. In Delaware, highway safety officials opted for a public education campaign, placing decals on crosswalks and sidewalks at busy intersections urging pedestrians to "Look up. Drivers aren't always looking out for you." 
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which provided the video of the man who fell onto the train tracks, has received reports from bus drivers and train engineers who say they nearly hit pedestrians who didn't appear to hear them sound their horns because they were distracted by their electronic devices, said authorities. There have been several cases of people hit and killed by the authority's trains in which it appears they were wearing headphones or using cellphones while trespassing on tracks.

Safety experts are worried about a growing problem: Distracted walking. They say reports of injuries to distracted walkers treated at hospital emergency rooms have more than quadrupled in the past seven years.  It would include those who are talking on a cell phone, texting, listening to music or playing a video game while walking. And of course just like drivers, many walkers may not admit they were distracted by their gadgets. Vedic scriptures say humans cannot have perfect knowledge because of 4 defects, and one of them is that we are all prone to make mistakes.

Vaisnava philosophers have discovered that all the mistakes we are guilty of making originate from (1) error, (2) inebriation, (3) the shortcomings of our senses and (4) an inclination to deceive others, and by these our boldest and strongest thoughts are lost.  
(1) We mistake infamy for renown, and ruin for benefit.  (2) We misunderstand something when the brightest rays of truth shine in vain upon our mind.  (3) The senses we use for observation are always defective and incapable of giving us a perfect view of what we have observed.  (4) A general inclination for deception creeps into our heart when we take a one sided view and establish facts or theories with the greatest assurance.  
All people are subject to fall victim to these defects. 
The only exception is God Almighty and His associate counterparts, who remain within the Absolute Truth.

Śrīla Bhakti Saranga Mahārāj :
"God-realization" - "Omnipotent God Beyond Error"
A Lecture Published in Śrī Sajjana-tosanī Patrikā,
Vol. IV, No. 11 (June 1959) - Rays of The Harmonist No 13 Karttika 2003
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library -

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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