Safety Margins

How close to the edge do you drive?

There’s an old story that tells of a stage coach company that was advertising to hire a new stage coach driver. Three applicants had been selected for interviews. Each was asked the same question: “How close to the edge of the cliff can you drive and still be safe?” The first man said: “I am such a good driver that I can drive within one inch of the edge and still be safe.”

Not to be outdone, the second man answered: “I am such a good driver that I can drive with half the wheel over the edge and the other half of the wheel on the ground and still be safe.”

The third man simply said: “I don’t know how close I can safely drive near the edge of the cliff. I always stay as far away from the edge as possible.” The third man got the job.

A bit of an over simplification but a good analogy.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should.