Many of you have so far tolerated much of my rants and ravings throughout these blogs. The initial intention was to complain about the demise of common sense. To this point, I have tried, to some degree or another, comply with that task by pointing out the obvious. Often times, we as a society will let change seep into our norm, even though a level of disagreement or, perhaps better fitting a definition, disillusionment, might exist. We can stand at the doorway and declare that this doesn’t make sense, but in the end, rational thinking be damned and foolhardiness reigns.
Upon closer examination to the root causes of this type of disruption allowed, I set aside the outside world around me and looked within myself. Where have I allowed common sense to lie dormant in my past and how has it shaped where and who I am today? I’ve been privy to some self-reflection that mapped out many options in life I either didn’t know existed then or decided that future planning wasn’t needed at the moment. I am not ashamed to be a finger-pointer at myself. Shortcomings and failures in life are open and often times advertised in plain view for others to see.
It is no secret that many events growing up were a mystery to me then, becoming clear with understanding later on. The term ‘hind site is 20/20’ was truly fitting of my life-learning.
So what is the reasons for lack of understanding? How are we missing out on seemingly simple concepts? When a person is educated that they are to stop at a red light, then go on green, it then becomes a daily choice to adhere to that instruction. We stop at the red lights because we learned. We saw the consequences of choosing not to listen. I am not yet convinced that this type of training is fulfilled in other key elements of life-teaching. We may still include that instruction in driver’s education classes, but what about beyond driving? What about the obvious do’s and don’ts?
Back in my younger days, seatbelts were not mandatory. You could get in the car and ignore the lapbelts. Often times, they were that nuisance that you tucked into the seat so as not to have to sit on the metal buckle. That was the case when I was a passenger in a speeding vehicle that left the road and went headlong into a telephone pole. The vehicle went airborne and so did I…into the windshield. Had the lapbelt been over instead of under me, results would have been much different. New views? Yes! Wear the seatbelt from now on in any vehicle! Lesson learned? Yes! I know that the education class did say to wear seat belts when driving. I remember because it was on the checklist of things to do before taking the driving portion of the test. But what happened between the test and the telephone pole? Free will.
We are a free society with free will to choose freely our paths, whether that choice is as simple as wearing a seatbelt or as big as having a baby. We choose. The part that lacks these days is the thinking process before the choice is made! There isn’t even a spark that fires in the brain prior to some of the choices people make. Did you really think over the consequences before taking that meth? Did you think of possible life-changing outcomes that can happen after unprotected sex? Is that text message you are trying to read while driving so important that consequences are irrelevant? Are you aware of the consequences, not if, but when you are caught in that illegal activity?
Let’s just say that the “Pre-Thinking” phase of some brains have a type of short-circuit these days. As in my example above, my brain didn’t even come close to firing a pre-thought as to whether I should put the seatbelt on. How nice it would have been for that pre-thought to show me a few images of wrecked cars, bodies launched through windshields and maybe an ambulance or two, just for added dramatic effect! Perhaps I would have taken that extra second or two needed to prepare for a possible negative event (which did occur). Whether our pre-thinking is from deep impacting instruction or deep impacting events, pre-thinking can and does happen. Depending on just how impacted it is will determine just how influential over our free will choice it will be.
So the question that remains is are we, or are we not, deeply impacting in our instruction of today’s kids? What is missing in either their formal education or the social education (i.e. family, neighborhood, church, friends)? How can the youth continue on with a path of destruction when they supposedly have been taught otherwise. What about the youth that have personally experienced tragedy, yet continue to choose that affliction as a way of life? I am of a firm belief that much of the destruction to pre-thinking has come from the role-models that kids tend to glorify. When your ‘hero’ is adamant that a seatbelt should be worn, you will more-often-than-not follow that example faster than having a pre-thought of possible consequences. When that ‘idol’ in your life tells you it’s ok to act this way or that, you stop your pre-thinking as to the consequences of that action and just “jump in with both feet”. The sad part is that the tendency is to nevermind that the hero’s lifestyle is delinquent or criminal. Ignore that the role-model initiates violence. Push aside the fact that this individual or group advocates self-destruction.
I can post many examples of these things that are cast to the forefront of people’s thinking, allowed to destroy the self-preserving pre-thought process. Everything from cults to gangsters, religion to music and videos. The Hitlers’ of today inciting violence, the music rappers who degrade civility and humanity, the ministers of hate who attack everything that is not ‘like them’. All of these things purpose negativity, violence, and create a destruction of self. Desecrate others, take drugs, no restrictions, violence is the answer…it’s what permeates their very existence. The part that should horrify people, but sadly doesn’t, is that it’s all around. Everywhere you turn, society is slowly allowing the seeping ooze of degenerates to come in. Folks that once stood on common sense are now glorifying these groups and people who have somehow masked societies minds into thinking that they are really ok. Deceptive. What was once looked upon as scourge is now given awards. The more these idols are put up on pedestals, the less we have our pre-thought protections telling us that there are, and will be, consequences to our actions. The idols that we follow so mindlessly will not be the ones paying for our lack of thinking. Just because Joe or Jane sends text messages while driving and hasn’t had an accident doesn’t mean that you won’t. Just because religion X or rapper Y incites hate and violence doesn’t mean that it’s ok to do it! Wake Up! Common Sense, People!
Remove the idols, learn, think. Think it through. Think for yourself! Take that extra second or two and evaluate your actions. In the end, you are the only one that will be held accountable, but your actions can, and will, affect many. Will they be good or bad?