Ted’s essays

life in the clouds

snow plow cloudDriving into town I was impressed that thick snow slop on the road was pulling our Subaru every which-away. The 45mph I felt safe was apparently identical to what the snowplow a quarter mile back was doing. I took a side road, hung a U-turn, then pulled onto the highway behind the plow. AH YES, much more stable with most of the snow pushed off the road.

Missy was impressed that I was clever enough to put the snowplow to work for us. Yeah, I smiled to myself, that isn’t normal, is it?

I resumed matching snow plow speed with our quarter mile separation now having him in front. A few car lengths behind the plow was a delivery van whose driver was in a cloud. His visibility for driving was severely limited by a snow plow blizzard. Matching his speed exactly, I was in clear road, with clear visibility, through clear thinking.

The simile played out in my head. Most drivers operate in the cloud. It is normal, average and typical to maintain a normal following distance without considering that the vehicle ahead was indeed a snow plow stirring up a near white-out. The 99%-ers do it like that.

Not thinking is the predominant culture in driving. Training and habits own the road.

Turns out the same can be said of most everything else in our world. Training and habits own our lives, or at least the vast majority.

Thinking makes you the odd man out.

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on – George Bush

Sadly, that number is very high. Happily, more and more people are beginning to think. The percentage who have stopped blindly accepting official pronouncements is growing.