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There Goes Another Alarm

Twenty-first century America is filled with warnings, alarms, and detectors.  They were created to protect us, but because of the proliferation of so many bells, horns, beeps, and shrill sounds of warning, most of us never even turn in the direction of the sound’s origin.  We have grown so accustomed to car alarms so that we assume it is an accident and not a theft in progress.  Who has not seen the flashing red lights and lowered “arm” at a railroad crossing and chosen to cross anyway because the train is moving so slowly toward you?  And, what happened when you heard a fire alarm in a hotel sounding in the wee hours of the morning and hesitated before leaving the room because you hated the inconvenience?

Some warnings make us scratch our heads in wonder.  What was the company thinking that issued the warning or what had transpired previously to think such a warning should have been printed in the first place?  Consider these….

Warning label on a wheelbarrow:  NOT INTENDED FOR HIGHWAY USE!

Warning label on a stroller:  REMOVE CHILD BEFORE FOLDING.

Warning label on a carpenter’s electric drill: THIS PRODUCT NOT INTENDED FOR USE AS A DENTIST’S DRILL.

Warning on a box of rat poison: THIS PRODUCT HAS BEEN FOUND TO CREATE CANCER IN LABORATORY MICE.

Sadly, growing accustomed to warnings is not in our best interest.  When we get specific warnings personally from a professional we are paying for advice, we should heed what they say.  To ignore insights from professionals caring for us is not only foolish, it can be deadly.

David Bloom, Today show co-host on weekends at the beginning of this 21st century, died on April 6, 2003, while covering Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ironically, Bloom did not die from injuries sustained in conflict, but rather of a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary emboli occur among those who sit for long periods of time, and Bloom spent most of his time in a cramped Army vehicle.

When Bloom began experiencing pain, he consulted several doctors. Frederik Balfour, a reporter with Business Week online wrote:

“He consulted military doctors and described his symptoms over the phone to overseas physicians. They suspected DVT, or deep venous thrombosis, and advised him to seek proper medical attention. He ignored their advice, swallowed some aspirins, and kept on working. On Sunday he died of a pulmonary embolism.”

Bloom took several precautions to avoid becoming a casualty of war but ignored the warnings of doctors who insisted that his life was in danger from a treatable condition. Bloom left behind a wife and three young daughters. How sad it is. It leaves us saying, “if only.” If only he had listened. If only he had believed his doctors and took precautions tragedy would have been adverted.  (Copied).   Proverbs 12:15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.