Monday, December 9, 2013

Sad ending

I was in the line at the WalMart the other night (please!) and a young couple were behind me in the line, pawing through the US Star People magazines, all of which are, this week, dedicated to the memory of actor Paul Walker, who died in a car crash last weekend.

The guy said he had been talking to someone at work who had never heard of Walker.  He was flabbergasted at this revelation, as much as if he had met a man who never heard of Henry Ford, Christopher Columbus or George Washington Carver.

"I mean, that dude's got to be like, living under a rock."

I remained under the rock 'neath which I dwell, not saying anything.  I had never heard of Paul Walker until the reports of his death lit up the internet a week ago, but then again, I'm not interested in movies about people driving too fast.

And I'm not knocking those who do like those movies.  Heaven and Hollywood know, there are millions of people who wanted to see yet another Fast and Furious movie, but now will not, because one of the stars of the series is dead.

I don't really want to appear to be criticizing the man.  At 40, though, he should have been old enough to realize that the streets of Santa Clarita, California are not the place to be running around at 90 mph in a fast car driven by his friend (who also died in the wreck).  He had been at a charity event for the foundation he formed which was raising money for the victims of the recent Typhoon Haiyan.  That's what I mean - the yin and the yang of this man were so disparate as to make me shake my head.

A charitable man, dedicated to helping others.  Yet, how many people were he and his friend endangering by turning a public street into a private raceway?  A good father to his 15-year old daughter, yet he now will be absent from her life from now on.

Not how a ride around the block should end.
The more of these things I see, the more I figure that life has a way of sending examples to us.  It's a shame that this fellow, with so much to live for and such a nice life, had all that curtailed by reckless actions.  He was not driving, no, but perhaps he could have told his friend to knock off the speeding.  Perhaps people might realize that high-performance speedy cars are wonderful things in the proper place, which is a race course, not a street shared with people in their sedans.

The lesson is that life is a precious gift, not to be discarded on the altar of fast thrills.  I hope that the people leaving messages such as "Gone to race in Heaven" will get that point at some point.


Karen V. Poe said...

Fabulous as usual. Truth to the power. You are an amazing gift to my life. Karen.

Mark said...

You honor me, Karen. Thank you!