Today I broke up a fight. It was between a supervisor and one of his employees. It started when the employee accidentally injured one of his coworkers. This wouldn't be a big deal, but the employee reacted oddly, showing no remorse. This caused the supervisor to get in his face. Long story short, the two men got into a brief fight before I stepped between them. The employee was fired and the supervisor walked away with cuts and scratches on his face, as well as a ripped shirt.
Apart from adding a little excitement to my day, this incident got me thinking about something that I mentioned on 9/11. How many times do small events blow up into big ones? How can a decision or even an accident lead to previously unimaginable consequences? It's a little terrifying to comprehend. Like Al Pacino said in his memorable Any Given Sunday speech, "Life's a game of inches...the margin for error is so small, I mean one half a step too late or too early, and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast, and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us."
Had that employee not accidentally injured his coworker, the coworker obviously wouldn't be hurt, but the employee would also still have a job and the supervisor wouldn't have a face covered in cuts and scratches. Could the situation have turned out differently? Of course, but for some reason it went the way it did.
It was a strong reminder to protect each moment and to keep our ultimate objectives in mind. The more we're able to do this, fewer things "just happen." We can't control much in the world but we can (and must) control ourselves.