Today, as I walked to work I spent a lot of time thinking about Stan Miller. I don’t know why thoughts of him kept creeping into my head. Perhaps because it was such a beautiful day to be outside and there were lots of people out riding their bikes or walking to the office. Stan would have liked being out there with us today.
As I came to the intersection of L’Enfant Plaza and Independence Avenue, I saw this little memorial attached to a light post. Whenever I walk commute I see this sign, but I never read it until today.
It was dedicated to someone who had died there, “and others who die needlessly.” The last sentence read “Let us be mindful and caring.”
Stan died needlessly. Someone might say, “he died doing what he loved,” but let’s be honest. No one wants to die by being rear-ended on their bike by a drunk driver and then hurled 40-50 feet.
Stan was a cyclist, a motorist, a father, a son, a friend, and all-around nice guy. In fact, all of us are composed by multiple identities. We are not just cyclists, pedestrians, sisters, or friends. We are many things, and these facets of who we are interconnect us as a society.
Stan’s death reminds me that the way we move through life shouldn’t be an “us versus them” exercise. We are all in this together; it’s important to look out for each other. If we don’t, terrible things that cause great suffering and pain can happen.
“Let us be mindful and caring.”