Recklessness Details

Recklessness is typically associated with ignorance, disregard, and haste. This demonstrates that someone might be unaware or doesn't want or care to know the consequences of a certain action. Therefore, you can use recklessness to refer to when a person does something without having researched, analyzed, or considered the consequences of their actions.

In business, business people who are reckless care more about the immediate result of a business decision without thinking about how it will affect others in the future. These decisions might lead to major consequences: lawsuits, heavy fines, bankruptcy, or sometimes even the closure of their businesses.

Example of Recklessness

Let's say that you have finished your college education and have just moved out of your parents' house. You go to a couple of job interviews and feel you get at least one of them. You decide to get yourself a job as a driver in the meantime. The truck company deals with delivering bulk goods, from wholesale stores to small-scale retailers, and you are paid per trip. You won't be driving the truck but rather keeping records of the goods that are being delivered and make sure that they are the right quantity/quality as they are loaded at the store and unloaded at the destination. Your partner is a driver who seems a bit rash.

Your first job is to deliver glassware from a factory to a hardware store that stocks glass and fragile hardware like porcelain/ceramics. On your first day at the job, you and your partner take off from the factory early enough to make the delivery on time. However, you come across heavy traffic along the way, and you have the choice to either use a shortcut or be late for the delivery. You settle for the latter decision, which involves following the specified route, even though it will take up most of your time. Your driver seems to be in a rush and decides to change the route to take a shortcut.

Unfortunately, this shortcut is not only not short, but he had to dangerously cut through lanes full of traffic to get to the exit. This involved a hard turn which resulted in a loud crash from the back of the truck. Because of the driver's reckless decision, you not only had to deliver a broken product, but a broken product an hour later than promised. Unhappy with the result, the hardware store pulled out of the contract with the driving company.

Recklessness vs. Carelessness

Recklessness is when a person fails to take into consideration the long-term effect of their actions. A reckless person might have the right idea at the moment but didn't consider how that action will affect them in the future. Recklessness is, therefore, something that might be good for the present but adverse for the future.

On the other hand, carelessness is the failure to care enough about something, leading to an immediate accident or consequences. A careless person might not be committed to the task, or their mind is somewhere else. Carelessness leads to immediate negative consequences, while recklessness might be good for the moment but negatively consequential for the future.