Wanna see a current example of the social and intellectual decline in humanity in general? Need a visual aid on the progressive degradation of the self-centered human condition? To lay witness to this rapidly evolving phenom you need look no further than any local storefront crosswalk.
Let me direct your attention to the short roadway that borders the parking lot and any given business. Yes, not just the crosswalk but the entire road. Because most folk have become either too stupid, lazy or un-educationally oblivious to recall what a crosswalk is for.
You’re only there for Skittles and mayonnaise. A quick run to the store so you can make a sandwich (yeah, I gagged a little too). Now just find an open parking spot, then it’s in, out and back home in a jiffy… hmmm you better get some peanut butter, too (more gagging).
But first you must pass through the gauntlet of dazed pedestrians. The engine slows to an idle, as you bring your vehicle to a rolling halt. Now, once safely at a full stop, look there on your left, right and often both sides (pick a side or you’ll get a crick trying to watch both).
Pay close attention to your fellow peoples exiting the store or leaving the parking lot. Watch as they step right into the thoroughfare with nary a glance. Focused on steering their buggy or perhaps talking to their shopping companions. Staring straight ahead, staring at their phones, staring blankly into space or letting their children run heedlessly ahead to test the asphalt waters.
What the h*** happened to STOP LOOK and LISTEN oh yes, and THINK? Do they still teach that in school along with that asinine new math? Okay, for those of you who’ve forgotten or never remembered, a quick, abridged refresher course.
STOP: This one is easy, before stepping onto any roadway anywhere just quit moving. This is not to say go limp and fall over (you’ll frighten people). Just pause and stand still for a moment.
LOOK: Take in your surroundings, specifically those on the road you’re about to cross. Looking all around is important, as vehicles can come from anywhere. With flying cars coming on the market, this includes up.
LISTEN: This is geared more towards younger pedestrians. It helps with the hearing and interpretation of instructions from adults and also identifies where traffic is coming from and the presence of reversing vehicles. Always hold those little hands! Tiny, closed coffins are sooo depressing.
THINK: Yes, this one can be a challenge for some and impossible for others. But there’s no need to waste all the sensory information you’ve just amassed to evaluate if the safety of the situation is present and crossing is wise.
Yes, yes, I know that seems like a lot of steps in getting into the Walmart so you can wander around aimlessly for hours, buying more s*** you don’t need, because the little ☺ says it’s on sale. But you need to be alive to be influenced by the smiley and buy said s***. So a momentary pause to exercise some basic intelligence won’t kill you… like a speeding dually truck will.
If thinking’s not your strong point. If nobody’s going to tell you what to do. And you don’t have time to wait because Hostess Ding Dongs (teehee — ding dongs) are on sale (the smiley said so and beckoned your belly and damned your waistline) are more important than your life.
There is a simpler and more basic alternative. Before attempting a crossing, you simply look right, look left, then right again. This tried-and-true method is elementary (where you should have learned it). You don’t even have to completely stop moving forward. It’s not a matter of thinking, just a precautionary action of evaluation. One that can lead to an immediate reaction that could prevent a hospital bill or funeral.
Yes, yes I know… again, that by law, pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. That’s great, wonderful, super-dee-duper fine. But you don’t have to be an oblivious, arrogant a-hole about it. Look and cross quickly as a matter of courtesy. Tip a friendly wave of thanks to those who politely stop for you. Keep in mind those in vehicles are pedestrians too… just not at the moment.
I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused! See ya.