“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
- Jeremiah 17:9
The following rant was written about ten days ago. Yes, I had ten days to think about it, and I still posted it. You know what Forrest Gump says, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
I was watching a channel on cable TV devoted to the weather. Hurricane, or Tropical Storm, Isaias (names that everyone can say? The committee screwed up on that one.) was bearing down on Florida and the on-the-scene reporters could not understand how the vacationers could not know that a hurricane was imminent. Some admitted that they knew, but they came to Florida anyway, because “Maryland does not have beaches.” Okay, Maryland does have beaches, but that points to the problem. People just don’t care. They are deceived by their own hubris, thinking themselves invincible. And I wonder why the meteorologists were surprised?!?! These people do not watch your channel.
Now for those who wish to apply 20:20 hindsight to what happened in the Isaias track, you could argue that Florida was missed by the ferocity of the hurricane, mostly off-shore at that point and the Maryland beaches probably got hit harder than what happened in Florida, but the warning signs were there that trouble was brewing, but the people ran into trouble, thinking themselves immortal. If you do not learn from such mistakes, being ever more emboldened, the odds will go against you at some point.
I have seen on multiple social media posts from friends that I thought were salt of the earth people. Really, I love them to death, but their tweets or posts or whatevers about how the government cannot and will not make them wear a mask left me puzzled. Some of these people have some of the markers for having a hard time with the COVID-19 virus if they were to get it. I understand the concept of the government taking away our rights and then not giving them back, but the idea of strongly suggesting the wearing of masks has not been working. All the people on vacation in the Miami area during a hurricane, interviewed for national TV, were not wearing masks. I abhor the idea of being arrested or fined, but what we are doing in our “free-at-all-costs” society is lunacy.
By the way, it is the same video, but repetition is good in education.
Editor’s note: My wife did not read this, but when I told her about it, she wanted me to add that a friend of hers had posted on social media that wearing your mask with your nose exposed (at least 75% from my observations) is not wearing a mask at all. The post stated that the nose is connected to the lungs through the nasal passage. What shocked my wife was that her friend got comments from people that had no idea that the nose and lungs were connected. Okay, the comments came from a mouth-breather. Not saying mouth-breathers are stupid, but… I am often a mouth-breather when my allergies and sinus issues clog the nose. Having my nose broken three times doesn’t help that situation, but I still breath through my nose when that passage is available, and even mouth-breathers have some air pass through the nose – carrying germs.
And while we are on the subject, my wife’s friend could be challenged in that the people were wearing their mask, just improperly. But if you wear your mask down around your chin, you are definitely not wearing a mask. You might be wearing a beard bun basket, but it is not a mask. Wearing it a little lower is just an ugly necktie or scarf.
And while we are on the same topic, but another area of concern, I was the safety coordinator with my last fulltime employer, then the safety manager, and then the Safety Director. I came a long way with the company from not having any safety program, and losing the chance to bid on some projects as a result, to having a reasonably compliant program. Yet, I could never get highly educated engineers to follow the safety rules. I wanted to say this many times, but I was trying to politely change the culture so that safety was part of the culture, not a boring class to attend. With me teaching, it was not boring, but if they go in with that attitude and not listen, they are bored to start with. They just did not care.
And to all those safety managers and training managers (of which I was both at the same time), I have this to say to upper management in your defense. When there is an accident involving damage to equipment or personal injury, you will ask the perpetrator why they did the “fool thing” that they did. They will respond, “I didn’t know!” In a way, it has been the human response since Adam and Eve ate a piece of fruit and Cain killed his brother. Please, understand that the perpetrator is LYING! They knew! Don’t fire the safety manager and the training manager, because someone had a momentary, if not permanent, case of stupid!
So, meteorologists of the world, and governors, mayors, etc., making announcements about impending storms, do not talk on the station that is 24/7 weather. Interrupt game shows, soap operas, “reality” TV, and sports. See how to hack into to livestreaming networks to reach those who binge watch Gunsmoke. But also broadcast it over the radio. Write it in the sky. Because not everyone watches television. Some stay outside working on their tan so they will look marvelously stupid when they go to Florida during a hurricane.
Forget the sky writing. I am not saying that these people who violate safety rules, defy orders to wear a mask during a pandemic, do not wear the mask properly, and go to Florida just in time to experience a hurricane… Not saying these folks are illiterate, but…
I read someone’s article not long ago where they listed all the safety rules that we have lived with and take for granted, so why not wear a mask? Great sentiment, but…
- They invented airbags, because people sat on their safety belts that were buckled behind them to make the alarm go away. And in some cases, the airbags cause more injuries than the accident would have, especially if you are wearing your seatbelt properly.
- In many cities where I have lived, or visited, STOP signs are ignored and red lights are only a mild suggestion. I can still close my eyes and see the 80-year-old man and his wife smile and wave when he ran a STOP sign in Boston, and I locked the brakes and swerved sideways to miss him. Those near death moments get etched permanently.
- You have heard about “right on red after you stop if the traffic is clear?” I recently saw left on red in the middle of heavy traffic – forget stop, did not slow down – probably knew the cops would soon be defunded!!!
- Speed Limits are followed however, if, and only if, the Speed Limit sign means always drive at least 10mph over the posted speed or faster. Double or triple the speed if riding a motorcycle.
- And I am sure everyone has seen people turn left from the right turn only lane and vice versa. I did yesterday. I had to thank the idiot driver. I needed my brakes tested.
- And I have only seen this in the greater Chicago, IL area – so I will not assume the rest of the country does it – but, where traffic cones are erected to direct traffic in a construction zone they use the traffic cones as a slalom course in order to advance their position in line.
- But in such traffic jams, like in construction areas, I have seen the following in at least half the states. They use the shoulder to pass the gird-locked traffic, and if a trucker swerves to block the shoulder, they move into the grass undeterred.
And why do they violate every rule in the book that they think they can get away with?
If you are wondering why I keep repeating the same video over and over, as a safety manager and training manager, I have wanted to say it so many times, but I knew people would be offended by it. It is so freeing to get it off my chest.
Or maybe the Scripture above explains it better. Not stupid as much as totally depraved.
But there is one way to get smarter. Smart is as smart does. Have Jesus transform you into a new being. And as you grow more like Jesus, you will want to follow the commandment that Jesus said was the greatest, to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.
In most cases that I mentioned above, it is not STUPID that leads to the problem, it is being too focused on self and our priorities and not thinking of other people at all. Yes, I fear that many of our freedoms are disappearing, but wear the mask anyway. Wash your hands often. Wear your safety belt. Drive at a reasonable speed near the speed limit. Stop at stop signs and red lights. And obey the safety rules at work. You might save a life. It might be your own. It might be your grandmother’s life.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.