Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Evidence of a Lack of Self-Awareness

Evidence of a lack of self-awareness is all around us, especially in people we do not know. Driving is prime example of people just caring about themselves and not about others: Lack of signaling and signaling after braking; Riding in the blind spot or tailgating; Driving below the speed limit in good conditions; Failing to move over to let oncoming traffic enter the freeway; Driving in the left lane and holding up traffic; And texting or distracted driving to name a few.

I have driven in blizzard like conditions in Colorado plenty of times. These conditions intensify when going over mountain passes without guard rails where one minor mistake is deadly. Under these conditions 18 wheelers would tailgate me and even pass me in no passing zones. What makes this move puzzling is that there is a conga-line of cars for miles in front of me. What good does passing do when you can only move forward a few feet – is that risk worth saving less than 3 seconds of time? No, but people make these decisions all the time, putting you at risk. It is one thing to risk their own lives, but to risk the lives of others shows their lack of self-awareness.

The advancement of technology has made us as a people less self-aware of our surroundings and hence less personable, less courteous, and rude. Bad manners and narcissism are the new norm.

Watching overweight people eat junk food is obviously a lack of self-awareness. Some may say this is no big deal because they are only killing themselves with their bad habits. I disagree, self-inflicted diseases such as diabetes and cancer work to increase the healthcare costs for everyone. A healthier populous means lower healthcare costs for all.

Here is a prime example of a lack of self-awareness. I was in line at the pharmacy in the grocery store. The elderly man in front of me in the line is eating a creamed filled doughnut. He has no napkin and it is going all over the place. When he is done he licks his hands and fingers clean. Then he uses those same fingers to sign the credit card machine when he gets his prescription. Ironically, he then sat down to wait to get a flu shot (maybe he would not need a flu shot if he practiced some healthy habits in public locations). When I asked those working at the pharmacy for something to clean the card reader pen the elderly man overheard my request and was offended. He had no clue why I wanted to clean the machine – he thought it was because I was saying he was not clean. I had to explain it was because he was not sanitary. I never understood the need to lick our fingers when eating. I see it all the time at buffets. Why were napkins invented? This elderly man was worse than a 3 year old. First, he could not wait to eat his doughnut until he got out of the store. Second, he used his tongue instead of a napkin. This is just nasty behavior with no regard to others. This is not much different than going to the bathroom and failing to clean your hands.

The devolving situation of our political scene is more evidence of a lack of self-awareness. We now live in the era where I am 100% right and you are 100% wrong and there is no need to debate issues. We want to stifle the free speech of others simply because we do not agree with them. We call others names, start conspiracy theories, and lie to get what we want. The lack of civility when faced with opposing views should be concerning to all Americans. The first differences of opinions in politics in United States history under the present Constitution was probably between Thomas Jefferson versus George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams. Although their political views were vastly different, the United States prevailed as a country because they remained civil and respected their adversaries. Present day polarity and division may some day lead to the end of the United States.

The recent Supreme Court decision on abortion is another great example of a lack of self-awareness. Liberals are excited about this decision because they say it protects the productive rights of women. However, to me, the case was not about abortion as much as it was about having safe guidelines to perform successful abortions without injuring the patient. When people are happy that abortion trumps safety then that is not self-awareness. When commonsense loses to politics then we are all losers. When safety loses to a principal or agenda then we are all losers. When both the mother and fetus die in an abortion procedure is hardly worth celebrating (you have no reproductive rights is you are dead). But that is where we are at as a nation.

I can on, but this is all too depressing for me. I think you get the picture.

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