What happen the common sense?
Did we stop using common sense?
This is the information era. Data are pouring in everywhere, whether we want to see or not. Internet, radios, TV channels, newspapers, billboards, all the advertisements are giving information. Warning trying to bring something to our awareness. Rules and warnings suggest us to behave a certain way. We must obey, for the sake of ourselves and others. Without asking much of the questions or relate the cause and effect. We emphasize warnings not thinking. If people do not think, does it really matter how many warning you will give them?
I was thinking about these questions last week, when I was at a restaurant. It took me 15 minutes to read the entire menu. It was only a pasta place. If you want to know what they offering to you, you should take your time to read the menu. Each meal contains many detailed descriptions. Such as what were the ingredients of the meal and how many calorie each plate contained.
You want to order wine? Then you may even learn where they picked grapes for that specific bottle of wine. Each drink has its own tiny story written very informatively. There is absolutely no mystery. You can figure out within a minute, once you have chosen a Fettuccine Alfredo, that you will be consuming 1198 calories. Your modest Caesar Salad will have 309 calories. If you skip the wine, and stick with plain tap water: no calories for that. However once you order Tiramisu as a mouth watering desert, that will add another 753 calories. So you will be consuming 2260 calories in one meal!
While waiting to pay the bill, I watched a chubby young man wipe the floor by the entry way. I saw two bright yellow signs about 20 feet from my table, located in the middle of the floor. I read large clear bold black letters printed “caution slippery surface.” The other one was next to his water bucket. The yellow sign which read: “Precaución: Piso Mojado.” This one was in Spanish.
After paying the bill without stepping on the wet floor, I went to the bathroom. There I saw a rather large white sign right above the sink. “Wash your hands.”
So I washed my hands as instructed. On the wall by the door, there was a hand dryer. That also had a warning printed in small red letters. “Do not try hand dryer on your head.” I guess my question is why would you stick your head under the blower . To get it dry? You are in a restaurant, you did not take a shower there. So what is the point of that warning?
I do not deny that some warnings are necessary. They should be there. Lack of it may cause unwanted results. Such as traffic warnings, utility warnings, emergency procedures. Informational signs at train stations or airports, billboards telling you when your next departure, or where you are. They help us tremendously.
On the other hand, I can not help laughing about some other ones. For example, when you buy a cup of coffee or tea, on the paper cup it’s written “hot liquid.” Well, that to me is a little too obvious. Do I need a warning for that?
How about ‘watch out sharp edge” printed on a knife package?
I do not think anyone would purchase a dull knife.
Warning signs everywhere. They tell us what to do. They are trying to get our attention as much as possible. Think about using computers. They want updates, the pop up blocker tells me on the bottom of the window blocked two flash potential sale ads. I click on the pdf report on the page, to download and read it, but first I need to answer
“Do I really want to download the pdf?”
It might be dangerous. I click on the “yes” button, I really want to download that pdf file! Next the virus checker warns me,
“I am about to download a file, are you sure you want to do this?”
Yes, I really really want to download this pdf. But what I am doing? Before even opening the file I should let the virus checker scan it first. Otherwise it will be jumping around my screen , warning me what if that contains a virus.
Things like that routine work day in front of the computer. After a while, you develop new habit of ignoring all warnings. Small windows trying to warn you, but before even reading the warning, you close it. Because there are too many of it. You see it so often then you get used to it. Even though some might need attention, you no longer pay attention to any of them.
Overdose warnings puts you in a mood to ignore all. Warnings do not have much impact. Reason lost importance. Otherwise how would you explain lack of judgments even in the simple cases?
Does anyone still doubt that if you smoke a lot, your chance to get cancer will increase . If you eat too much you will became overweight or obese. There is no surprise in that. Then how come some people can still think these cases are destiny, “kismet”, bad luck or God’s will? Rather than results of our own poor behavior.
My uncle lost sight in one eye. He also has terrible kidney problems. My aunt and rest of family members, even many friends of them, are sure that it is his destiny. It is simply God’s will.
I do not see why that is God’s business at all? My uncle smoked like chimney all his life. He consumed a lot of alcohol and had bad eating habits. How come his choice of life style needs a God’s explanation? Is it that obvious, that if you do not take care of yourself, you may get serious illnesses?
What happened to understanding cause and effect relationship? Did we all forget about basic logic? When I say logic I do not mean by studying logic at the school. I mean using common senses to evaluate situations correctly.
I remember reading in the newspaper, a rather strange article about two boys. Two friends climbed a wall which had an electric fence on top. The wall was separating the military area from a local farm. They were 16 and 17 years old. They were electrocuted when they touched the wire.
Their bodies were found by the wall, right underneath of the warning sign. “Military zone, do not enter, electric fence.”
They were not illiterate, the newspaper claimed that they were good students in their classrooms. Parents were sad and upset about electrical wire. A few columnist wrote articles about the tragedy defending the boys.
I am not sure that I can I feel sympathy towards the boys ending.
They were not little boys. By age of 17, one should not underestimate electric fence. It is a military zone. Big white warning sign on the wall clearly states that you should not enter. How unambiguous is that?
I still remember another odd news from a Turkish newspaper published a while ago, which collected similar sympathy from the public. Depending on your view a bit of mixed with bad destiny or luck.
A small bus ( dolmuş ) stopped on the road. The driver saw somebody hanging from an overhead electric cable. The driver and the passengers got off the bus to look at the dead body hanging on the wire. They assumed the middle age man was trying to get illegal electric by throwing a hook over the high voltage cables. Unfortunately did not do the job properly, his body was severely burned on top of the wires. The driver called the police and got on the bus to continue his route.
When he drove on, he ran over something. The road had been empty. He stopped the bus and looked to see what had happened. They looked in front of the bus, they realized the driver ran over a young mom with her baby. She was one of the passenger.
This is the oddest part.
She was breast feeding her baby in front of the bus!
I mean how can you do that? Why would you decide to breast feed in front of a bus, which was not parked, the engine was running ? I tried to find any information such as if she had certain disease, mental illness or anything which would effect her ability to make decisions. Nothing. She was not drunk. She was not under influence of any drugs. All I found was she was a housewife. She and the baby died in the accident.
Beginning of this article I was very much of doubtful. Did we need that many warning? The common sense should warn us of danger. It seems like some people missing common sense altogether.
As we can see warning is only one step, if we do not use common sense, it does not matter how many warning or information we have. We make mistakes.
We continue making mistakes. Some even insist on repeating their mistakes. Instead of learning our lessons from bad examples, we pretend like it never happened.
When common sense and logic are replaced by emotions or superficial beliefs, we end up with poor judgment.
NUR KARLICA ROY