Encounter with the blind side of life


In our daily interactions, we quite often experience situations which are located on our blind side. As decision-makers, employers, employees, parents, teachers, drivers or passengers, we are quite often confronted with incidents that seem to be beyond our control.  Things that happen on our blind side sometimes carry serious consequences.  Addressing issues relating to the blind side calls for serious engagement on all fronts.

Responsibility for blind side incidents

In our fallible state, all human beings do commit various types of offences.  Some of the offences are committed deliberately, but others are committed on the blind side.  Sometimes, we become victims of actions committed on the blind side by others.   At other times, we commit the offences ourselves without being aware of our actions.  The result is that we may blame other people wrongly for our own actions.

Let us consider the following scenario.   A worker may be rushing to start off early for work, to avoid the morning rush-hour. Unfortunately, he is having a hard time locating his set of car keys. In his frustration, he blames his wife for misplacing the items.  In a frantic search, the keys are found in the pocket of one of his trousers.  He had left them in his pocket the previous evening.  Meanwhile, he had blamed his wife for the missing keys.

The passenger and her biscuits

A story is told of a woman who experienced the blind side of life in an embarrassing way.  A lady passenger, who was waiting for her flight, decided to visit the duty-free shop at the departure hall.  At the shop, she was attracted to a nice pack of biscuits that she bought and put in her handbag.  At the shop, she noticed other passengers who were also buying some items.

After paying for the biscuits, she returned to the departure hall.  While seated, she took a book and started reading.  In the course of her reading, she noticed that a man she had seen at the duty-free shop had come to sit close to her.

Later, she decided to eat her biscuits.  As she reached out for her bag, which was on a side-table between her and the male passenger, she was surprised to see the man eating the same type of biscuits she had put in her bag.  She concluded that the man had taken the biscuits from her bag.  She became alarmed and started thinking of what action to take against this thief who had stolen biscuits from her bag.  She thought of calling the airport security personnel to deal with him.

Upon second thoughts, she decided to wait for some time and weigh her options.  She also started eating some of the biscuits.  To her utter surprise, the man continued eating the biscuits; and when it was left with the last piece, he broke it into two and gave half to the lady.  At this time, she was fuming with anger.

Soon, it was time to board the plane.  As the lady took her seat in the plane, she saw the ‘thief’ who had stolen her biscuits pass by.  Fortunately, his seat was not close to hers.  Once settled in her seat, she opened her handbag to pick an item from it.  There, under her gaze, was the pack of biscuits she had bought from the duty-free shop!  The package was intact – it had not been opened.  Unknown to her, the gentleman had also bought the same brand of biscuits at the same shop and it was his own biscuits that he was eating at the departure hall.  It was then that she realised who the actual thief was.  She had rather stolen from the pack of the other passenger!  The gentleman had rather been generous enough to share his biscuits with her.

Victims of the blind side

The wrong conclusions we draw and the judgment we wrongly pass on others can have serious consequences.  In many instances, the house-boy, the house-girl and the cleaner have had to face anger and judgment from the master or mistress of the house for offences they were never responsible for.  A secretary at the office comes under severe sanctions from her director for misplacing important documents.  In the end, those documents are found in the director’s own briefcase.

Imagine beating a child for an act they never committed.  The psychological effect on the child and emotional damage caused could travel many years in the child’s memory along their journey to adulthood.  As adults, some of us may even recall, vividly, how, as children we were beaten for offences we never committed.

Consequences of judging by the blind side

Actions that take place on our blind side could have very serious consequences for us and society at large.  On the other hand, the unpredictable and complex nature of the blind side of life sometimes makes it extremely difficult to apply any human solution. As human beings, we are limited in our understanding and appreciation of the problem.  Indeed, the best of the world’s legal systems cannot address the evils of the blind side.  The news media across the world continue to present stories of people who have been unjustly sanctioned or wrongfully imprisoned on the blind side of the law.

Managing the blind side

When we are faced with the facts of a situation, we should be humble and bold enough to apologise to the people we have offended.  We must be humble enough to say “I am sorry” to the house-boy, the cleaner or security guard.  We must be willing to apologise to our children when we have accused them of acts they never committed, and ask to be forgiven.  In some serious cases, which could have serious implications in later life, parents have found it necessary to kneel down before their young children and to apologise to them for accusing or punishing them wrongfully.

The above scenarios relating to the blind side of life have an important lesson for all of us.  No matter how careful we might be, there may always be something that escapes our attention for various reasons.  Some of us easily jump to a conclusion and blame others for acts which can be finally be traced back to us. It is important for us to therefore make adequate room for managing such incidents.

The way forward

Knowing that we are by nature imperfect, we must be careful how we judge others.

  • If we cannot trace an important item, we should avoid blaming others immediately.
  • We should avoid jumping to a conclusion based entirely on how we perceive things. In many cases, our perceptions turn out to be very subjective or totally wrong.
  • Avoid making hasty judgments; devote adequate time and space for serious reflection on important issues or situations before responding.
  • Apply the “benefit of the doubt” Do not blame others where there is no definite proof of guilt.

Divine intervention

With our human frailty, we may find many of the blind side situations very challenging and too complex to deal with.  Indeed, this calls for divine intervention.  We need to seek the solution from God our Creator, who is all-knowing and all-powerful and whose judgment is perfect.  In Matthew Chapter 7, our Lord Jesus Christ warns us about judging other people,

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2 NIV)

The following words in the Lord’s Prayer make provision for us to pray to our Omniscient and Omnipotent God, to help us deal with the problems and challenges on the blind side of our life:

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13 NIV.).

The writer is a HR/Management Practitioner

Phone/WhatsApp. No: 0244599628

E-mail: [email protected]


Leave a Reply