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THE JOYS OF SELECTIVE INATTENTION AND OTHER UNIMPORTANT IDEAS
Life’s humongous happenings are the things I ponder least.
That’s because I have no control, no input, no influence, no power over the huge events that occur in daily life.
I know but one way to deal with HUMONGOUS HAPPENINGS. More about that later in this little diatribe. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, it is always the tiny unnoticeables that rivet my attention. Things like street signs that do not communicate.
Here’s one: NOT A THOROUGH STREET. What does this mean? The street is incomplete? Is it inadequately constructed? Is it misspelled? Does it intend to say NOT A THROUGH STREET? If so, THROUGH what? Does it suddenly come to a stop just past the sign? Perhaps more communicative would be NOT A THRU STREET. This is easier to read, and there is no confusion about words–thorough and through and trough could blend themselves into an amalgam of meanings. By the time they are sorted out, the driver may have run smack and thoroughly through a trough that runs thru a tough ‘hood.
Here’s another sign of the times: GROOVED PAVEMENT. What am I supposed to do with this instant information? Is it a mysterious command? Am I to spin the steering wheel to conform to the grooves? Or is it another typo? Does it mean GROOVY PAVEMENT? In which case I can really get it on, man, and go with the flow. By the time I process this information, the sign has been long since passed and I’m on my way to the next challenge.
I recommend the highway department consider some new signs designed to entertain and confuse. What about ESCHEW OBFUSCATION? That would kick-start an inner philosophical debate about meaning, context, semantics…a much more productive exercise than the perplexing THOROUGH and GROOVY and THRU directives that nobody understands.
Or, a sign that reads ROAD ENDS would generate all kinds of excitement and stress. Since all roads eventually end, does this mean IMMEDIATELY or sometime in the future? There is no footnote or added explanation to comfort the driver. The sign may as well read LIFE ENDS, since it is an open-ended truism that one may ignore or obsess over. There’s always something new to wring one’s hands about.
The only way some of us get through the day is to employ a technique known as SELECTIVE INATTENTION. Disregarding the warning signs at least allows us to pay more attention to the road and focus less on things we cannot control.
Now about the HUMONGOUS HAPPENINGS.
As I inferred, there is nothing I can do to quell these HUMONGOUS HAPPENINGS. All I can do is exactly and precisely what I know how to do. When HUMONGOUS HAPPENINGS issue forth, I get back to basics and truisms.
I hug my family and tell them I love them.
I make sure my friends, my strangers, know that I actually care about them.
I look people in the eye to assure them that I am PAYING ATTENTION, for one terrible act of violence and abuse is to ignore someone, disavow their existence, disregard them, act as if they don’t matter, fail to listen to them.
The great sin is not noticing someone. The great abuse is not being noticed.
The great joy is the knowledge that you just listened to me, noticed me, by reading these words
© Jim Reed 2017 A.D.