Reflections: The way things ought to be but aren't

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By Thomas W. Ivines

It is obvious humans do not learn from their mistakes. And, you'd think we would learn from others, too, but we tend to repeat stupid things over and over even when we know better.

My brother was recently in a bad car accident after drifting off the shoulder of a road while driving. He tried to correct by pulling back onto the road but was catapulted across the center line from the drop-off. Trying to avoid a head-on collision, he veered off the opposite side of the road and hit an embankment. The resulting collision rolled his vehicle over and he was ejected through the side window.

The stupid thing here is if he was wearing a seat belt he would not have been as seriously injured. We all know wearing seat belts saves lives yet some of us still don't bother to use them.

Another stupid thing people still do is smoke. Yeah, nicotine is a very addictive drug but surely common sense would tell us any smoke inhaled into our lungs is not a good thing. No one would intentionally suck smoke into their lungs - or would they?

Apparently quite a few people still do draw tobacco smoke into their lungs because lung cancer is on the rise. And, it is one of the few preventable diseases we can avoid by simply not smoking. Duh!

The one I like is when a smoker asks you, "Do you mind if I smoke?" They might as well be asking you, "Do you mind if I give you lung cancer?"

We all know second hand smoke is as bad as, or worse than first-hand smoke. Do you guess smoking marijuana is any better? Better stupid, maybe.

Another one I like is sitting back in an easy chair and eating a whole, family size bag of potato chips. Hey, that ought to clog a few arteries, but many of us still do it. Did you know obesity is the number one health problem in America today? The associated health risks are enormous all the way from heart disease to diabetes.

The funny thing is we all know the way things ought to be yet we still continue to do the wrong things. We still make the same, stupid decisions over and over again when we all really do know better.

Every year thousands of people are killed on the highways by drunk drivers, and it is not always the real, die-hard alcoholics who are killing everyone. It is responsible folks like you and me who have had one too many drinks before leaving the party. Yeah, we know we should not drive when we drink but we do anyway. Is it drinking impairs us to the point we do not know better? I don't think so.

Try telling the officer after an accident, "Sorry, but I had teen many martoonies." Yeah, that will make it okay.

We are failing to save for our retirements when we know we should. Will our children take care of us when we're old? It's likely they will be less off than us.

We are failing to recycling when we know our landfills will come back to haunt us later. Between spills and landfills we have practically no ground water worth drinking now unless treated.

We are not conserving energy resources, driving SUVs and Hummers when we know we are eventually going to run out of fossil fuel. If we don't run out we will at least get to the point where we cannot afford it and sooner than most think.

We are still over extending our credit, especially on credit cards. Bankruptcy is now at an all time high. Are we simply getting caught up in the rat-race, forgetting what is truly important in life?

So, do you exercise? I mean, hey, we all know the way things ought to be, so why aren't we changing?