Because of technology issues, I am postponing The Matters w/ Matt until tomorrow. Please enjoy a regular post.
Through various emails, I get advertisements for estate sales. I differ from most people in that I am not looking for antiques or vintage furniture that can be refinished. I look for tools and other things of a stereotypical gentlemanly nature. I occasionally see things that pique my interest that are contained in a person’s belongs. This time it was a sign from the London Tube, (for the woefully ignorant this is the underground subway). This sign said: Mind The Gap
This picture stuck with me more than any other pictures presented. Mind The Gap. I knew what the sign was trying to tell me, but it was great advice for anyone:
Be aware of your circumstances and your surroundings.
I know too many people that transgress this. It is woeful “unawareness” of their surroundings. It is traveling and not bringing the proper footwear. It is getting drunk in someone else’s neighborhood and not knowing their surroundings. It is making bad decisions and expecting other people to act in good faith on your behalf. (You have no right to expect for someone else’s drive to thrive to intersect with your drive to survive).
The smart that don’t run into idiocy do things to “mind the gap”. They look at a map and make notes of landmarks. They learn about common routes and possible travel issues. The smart mind their drinks and even have a “designated idiot” that lays off the booze. Those that mind the gap notice exit signs and changing situations, body language of those that have native knowledge. I even make the argument that a smart person would watch a local news affiliate to understand local events and prevailing attitudes.
Idiots among me ask why I went to these lengths to understand. I blatantly tell them that I don’t want to get robbed or look like an asshole. I’ve known a few of these people that did. The kind of people who ended up crying to the police when they got rolled and ended up hobbling around with one shoe. They weren’t victims, they were dumbasses.
We were told “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. I think that it applies in life. The Romans would be smart enough to not walk around reading a book on a smart phone. The Romans would see the missing man hole in front of them..