Do you remember the poem by Lewis Carroll, “The Walrus and the Carpenter?” One of its verses reads:
‘A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said,
Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed —
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.’
In our current times, I believe that awareness is what we chiefly need. Given that so many people on devices have walked into fountains or walked across streets without looking for cars or have fallen down manholes because they weren’t paying attention to where they were going, I think we definitely need to be aware.
Example: a dear friend of mine and I recently had brunch at a wonderful restaurant. Seating is cozy, and we landed a table for two that was right near the door. This meant that each and every person who walked in and did not close the door (being that it was a regular door that does not automatically close on its own), caused a chilling breath of artic air to blow right in line with our table.
It was quite a sight to see—people old enough to know better would come in, along with the blast of icy air, and the door would slowly close, leaving a hefty space for the wind to come in. This meant that a good third of my friend’s and my brunch were interrupted by constantly saying “could you please pull the door shut?” The manager stopped by and said that this is a constant problem. So both of us offered to make a sign for the door so that people would see it and close the door.
He agreed, and I wrote one that said: “Please close the door when you come in. This door does NOT close on its own. Thank you.” But evidently the owner thought this was a bit bossy (and possibly politically incorrect), so they put up another sign that read “Please close the door.” It was posted up so high up on the door that I think only giraffes could read it. So, good luck with that.
This is just a tiny sample of the lack of awareness these days. I really don’t think that people do this on purpose; they are just not tuned in to who and what is around them. Also, I am not blaming technology for this either. I think it is simply a sign of the times.
As my dad used to say to me constantly when I was growing up: “be aware!”