I celebrated International George Cayley Appreciation Day for the first time on December 27th. Is International George Cayley Appreciation Day a real holiday? As far as I know: no. Should it be? Absolutely!
George Cayley is credited with inventing the seatbelt (among many other things). After my near-death car crash in Zambia this past summer, I reflected a lot on the fact that I most certainly would not have survived if I had not been wearing a seatbelt (something all too common among both nationals and expatriates on African roads).
As someone who was raised Jewish, I have grown to appreciate memorial days: days to pause from the hustle and bustle of every-day life in order to acknowledge something profound and be reminded of truly important events in our past. International George Cayley Appreciation Day is my promise to myself to remember how much I value my own life. I will buckle up every time, no matter what. It is the reminder to myself how something so small and seemingly insignificant can have such a huge impact.
Each of us takes on inherent risk every time we step outside, cross a street, get into a car. I will never advocate staying indoors for fear of getting in a car crash, but there are absolutely things we can do to minimize our risk as we travel. The first of these is “always wear a seatbelt.” I know this isn’t possible in all corners of the world, but this rule really is something to literally live by. If it means increasing your budget slightly to take the slightly fancier taxicabs, then so be it. It’s worth it. Take it from someone who knows.
Happy belated International George Cayley Appreciation Day. I hope to celebrate with you all again next year.