My Engine Light is On

The check engine light in my jeep is on, meaning there is an unfortunate situation that will cost a small fortune heading my way sooner or later. I stopped by my mechanic, who used a small machine that told him it was one of six things.  ” It could be a sensor, or it could be an electrical problem or it could be a leak of some type, or it could be blah blah blah… was all Greek to me. I asked him which he felt it was… which he replied, ” I have no idea. I only know what the codes mean, and again, it could be this or this or that.”    Well, that cleared the issue up for me, don’t you think?

I guess mechanics are no different than doctors. They all “guess” as to what the underlying problem is, based on the information provided to them. Guess work.      I guess everything in life is like that…..we assume and guess our way through many situations, hoping the outcome will work out for the best. I am hoping my jeep doesn’t leave me stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night. But you know what?  If it does, it should not come as a surprise to me.  I have been told that something is wrong…..and now I am driving at my own risk.   Risk.      Now , I could certainly spend several hundred dollars and get an accurate diagnosis, but what if it’s a trivial fault that doesn’t affect its performance? I will have wasted money.  So you see, I am making the choice to take the risk.

The problem with society today is we all like to pass the buck and place blame on other people for the choices we make. If my jeep breaks down, I will announce to the world that I just “had it looked at by a mechanic”.  I won’t volunteer information about how long the check engine light has been on, nor will I share the six possible causes of my mechanical failure. I will take the credit for having done my part ( taking it to the shop) but shift the blame to the mechanic who “looked at it”.

Risks. Blame. Fault. Passing the buck.  My father used to preach a sermon called “Pitchfork Christians”.    He would say,

“People don’t like to be called out on what they do wrong. When you do call them out, they are quick to pitch it back to the other person behind them. I call them pitchfork Christians. They toss the criticism over their shoulder blaming the other fella. They are quick to absorb the credit, but never take the blame. Look at Adam and Eve. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent…. the serpent….he took the fall.”

This is still happening today. Blaming others for our own shortcomings, or for having failed at a risk challenged. I see it all day long in health care.  ” She is not my patient.”  ” She wasn’t on my computer print out”. “That information was not on the chart”.  “I didn’t see any notes about that”. On and on the list of excuses goes.   

Risks. Blame. Credit.   Hmmmmm, life would be easier if we took responsibility for our actions, including the risks we choose to take. What good is a check engine light if it is never noticed and attended to? I think it’s merely a way to shift the blame. If its a faulty wiring problem, I won’t be able to sue  Jeep because the “check engine light” was on. If I break down, I can’t scream at the mechanic….he will tell me “the check engine light was on”

There is a simple solution. Take it in, have it fixed. It’s that simple. ….Hmmmmm. If only other challenges were so easy.





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