Just One Step Ahead

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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2 thoughts on “Just One Step Ahead

  1. Sam

    I completely agree, Barb. My latest pet peeve is that lack of sidewalk etiquette. In New York people will stop in the middle of a busy sidewalk at rush hour to call a friend, text. or have a long conversation with a friend they just happened to run into. As people swerve around them to get by, the sidewalk hog seems oblivious to how they’re inconveniencing others just trying to get to work. I believe these people should be given a ticket (such as a traffic ticket given to drivers) for these types of offenses. I’ve come to realize that we live in a selfish society. People will block stairways (to talk, text), brush by others to get by, cut in front of you in line, and talk in the middle of an apartment building’s courtyard (after midnight) while their neighbors in surrounding apartments. are trying to sleep. There is a little cement bench just outside my apartment’s window in the open courtyard I mentioned above. I have been jolted awake in the middle of the night by people having arguments, cell-phone conversations, or playing video games on their cell, etc. Heaven forbid that I should ask them to be quiet. When I’ve requested that they move away from the window, I have been insulted, cussed out, and threatened. All because I wanted to sleep. One lady even said, “This is a public bench, I have the right to sit here if I want to.” She was talking on her cell phone (full blast) outside my window. She didn’t care that if her actions were rude and inconsiderate to others. P.S. Thank you for posting the illustration of the Titanic disaster. I often mention the Titanic in my classroom. This disaster was a dramatic example of selfish, human error. Several ships chose to stop in the middle of the Atlantic that night, because of the hazardous ice conditions. The captains of those ships seemed to care more about the safety of their passengers, than meeting a schedule or impressing others Those in charge of the Titanic made selfish decisions that costs the lives of many.

    1. Yes, the Titanic seemed a prime example.
      I had to laugh a little, because we are becoming prime examples of what people call “old curmugeons”. But now I see that those are just people longing for a time when human decency and consideration were more of a way of life.
      I think that late one night, I’d destroy that bench, somehow. Just sayin’.

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