A father and son were travelling home from a rugby game late one night in the 1970s when the dad pulled the car onto the shoulder of the rural, desolate highway and asked his son to take over the driving. As hard as it was for him to admit, the father said his eyesight was failing him and he didn’t think it safe for him to stay behind the wheel. So the son took over, and it didn’t take him long to realize that his dad’s eyesight wasn’t the problem – it was the car’s headlights that were fading.
In life, we have to stay focused on the things that matter most. As Mark Twain put it, “Plain clarity is better than ornate obscurity.” For the father and son with the fading headlights, the most important thing became obvious: The road in front of them for that last 15 miles!
In today’s world we need to realize that the “headlights” we relied on have begun to fade, or have totally blown out! Do we realize this, and to what extent does our vision of the problems and the solutions we envisage become blurred unbeknownst to us?
This analogy also speaks to how we tend to jump to a conclusion that the problem must have a complex reason/solution i.e. I’m not seeing well, so it must be my eyesight going, as opposed to realizing that I need to check the car’s headlights. And, that if that father only had others like him in the car, he probably wouldn’t have found the real problem, he needed someone with a different perspective to see it.