What You Don’t Know Can Kill You – Do You Know This?

jon d harrison what you dont know can kill you

What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

Especially if you are a squirrel.

Back around 2001, I was working at the Chesterfield hotel in Palm Beach Florida – it was a great place to work, with an awesome team of professionals. (That actually was the most difficult job that I have left – the people treated each other like family).

One thing about South Florida, is the always present squirrel running around. Palm Beach Island, for all it greatness, still has a squirrel or two. They can often be seen darting back and forth through the streets, causing panic in drivers everywhere.

They also like to climb around on powerlines, usually with a higher degree of success than their street crossing efforts.


One day while working at the front desk of the hotel, I heard a loud bang- like gunfire- and suddenly, the electricity to the building cut off.

For a little while, we had no idea what happened – but then one of the guys in valet called me over to see something that he found. There in the grass, just below the telephone pole that carries the powerlines, was:

a crispy, fried squirrel. And I mean, really crispy.

Apparently, the squirrel misjudged a jump, or bit a wire, and was electrocuted.

Sometimes, we can be a lot like that squirrel. Just because we don’t know the dangers involved, that does not mean that we are spared from the consequences of our choices.

It’s like that conversation with the police officer who pulls a guy over for speeding. “I’m sorry officer, I had no idea it was only 45mph on this road.”

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, right?

Here’s where all of us can step up to the plate a bit and practice personal accountability. It can be really easy to shrug our shoulders and say “I didn’t know.”

Maybe I did, and maybe I didn’t.

And maybe the squirrel knew, and maybe he didn’t.

Either way, not knowing did not save him from the natural, immediate, and fatal consequences.