I’ve just been watching from my window. It’s a thing I like to do quite often – look down from on high and watch the world go by. This is what I have just seen:
A woman getting out of her car and walking, in the rain, to the front entrance of the building next to mine. I would estimate that, at normal walking speed, it would take about 30 seconds to get from the car to the entrance awning, and so out of the rain. It would take less if you were hurrying in order to avoid the wet. The woman stopped on the way from her car to the building to wrestle with the zipper on her coat, and to fish the hood out from inside the collar of her coat and put it on her head. All told, it took her about 90 seconds to sort it all out and get to the dry.
When you get out of your car in the rain, taking time to do up your zip and put on your hood seems like a sensible way of keeping dry. But in this case she was so fixated on doing what she thought was sensible she failed to realise that it meant she spent 60 seconds standing in the rain when she didn’t need to. Her attempts to avoid getting wet had actually made her wetter.
I found myself thinking this question:
To an observer looking down on my life from suitably far above, how many of my apparently sensible decisions and actions are actually making things worse? And how the hell would I go about finding out which are which?