I don’t think I’d be very good at chess, even if I found someone with the patience to teach me how to play. I find it very hard to strategize. Thinking 3 steps ahead seems to confound me. If I were on Survivor, I’d be the first one voted off the island.
Having said that, I am extremely good at thinking one step ahead. I can anticipate accidents waiting to happen and take steps to prevent them. I can also figure out the immediate consequences of my actions.
It never ceases to amaze me that more people aren’t good at this. If they were, here are the kinds of things they would be thinking:
“Maybe I shouldn’t stop and chat with someone right in the middle of the grocery aisle, because other people are trying to shop.”
“I really need to make it a point not to throw my cigarette butts on the sidewalk, because some poor non-smoking schmuck is going to have to clean them up.”
“Actually, I shouldn’t be smoking in the first place, because my loved ones do not want to see me die a horrible death.”
“If I abuse this child, he’s going to have problems as an adult.”
“If I drink (or text) and drive, someone else might get killed.”
“It is a good idea to spay or neuter my pet to avoid generations of suffering strays.”
“If I don’t vote, or I vote for a third party candidate, Donald Trump might win.”
“If I don’t pay my taxes, infrastructure and support agencies might not exist when I need them.”
“It’s probably not a good idea to come to a dead stop on a drawbridge when a 2000 ton gravel barge is bearing down on it.”
To me, thinking one step ahead comes easily. Apparently this is rare, though, because I see people not having the thoughts above all the time. And it renders me speechless.
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