Saturday, February 20, 2016

The view from just ahead...

Hiked to the top of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong today. Love that hike. On the way down, not too far from the top, I was walking down a windy two-way road. I came across a traffic accident within a couple of minutes after it happened. It was serious enough that the airbags deployed in both cars, one car was certainly disabled, the other maybe could be moved, but not driven. I snapped a photo and continued on my way. Within 80 yards of passing the accident, I was passing cars queued - the drivers had no idea what the problem was ahead ( couldn't see the accident - curves with lots of trees). As I passed cars, about 2 of 3 would roll down their window and ask what was the problem. "Head-on crash, cars not drivable, note how many yards ahead." Many drivers, immediately executed a 5 - 7 point turn (narrow road remember) and headed down the road.

This went on for at least a kilometer. After that, people stopped asking. Enough people were turning around (and maybe they moved one of the cars) that there was enough forward motion, that they didn't feel a need to ask.

This experience got me thinking about a few things.

First, my words (for those closest the the wreck, the ones not moving at all) helped them make a decision. Some chose to stay and wait, others chose to turn around. The additional information was sufficient for some to execute on that decision.

Next, for those making some progress (around 1 km from the accident and further), there were none interested in asking my perspective. Nothing was different except that they were making some progress. Since they were't stopped, it wasn't worth the effort for them to ask me.

Next, no one, not even those completely stopped, just 100 yards from the accident, made any sort of effort to gather any additional information. Now, for cars where there was just one driver, that'd be difficult - you don't know when the traffic will move again and it's not a good idea to abandon your car. However, for those cars where there was more than one person, it would have been easy to send them on ahead to get more information. No one did.

I started to think about this in more of a religious context.

For a few hundred meters, I was Moses coming down from the mountain. No one was willing to come up, but they were all interested in talking to me on my way down. Just the limited, but very important information I had, helped people make decisions. I suppose, the analogy to Moses had some traction. It also helps explain a couple of things about my religious tradition: the LDS faith. Joseph Smith claimed to have gone to the mountain (figuratively). He claimed to have talked with God. I understand, just a bit better today, what that means.

Unfortunately, my experience also helps me understand part of what's wrong with the LDS faith today. The leaders aren't going to the mountain. They are no different from the people sitting in the cars. They have no idea what's ahead. Sure, they say nice things, some are pretty good speakers, but they haven't been to the mountain. I understand better why LDS Church members are interested in people like Denver Snuffer. Denver claims to have been to the mountain. The current LDS leadership talk in vague generalities.

BTW, the view from the top is incredible.