My daughter is learning how to drive. This evening was the first time she’s ever driven in the dark. The trip didn’t start out so well.
When she parked the car at her cheerleading gym, we discussed plans for her exit strategy.
When she started to back out… she did so without thinking….
I asked her why. She didn’t know. She wasn’t thinking.
Thinking wasn’t important to her. Her mind was someplace else. Not on driving. So… she let decisions slide….
I explained to her that not thinking… not adapting to road conditions… is dangerous not only for her, but for other drivers as well. But she wasn’t buying it. I had no credibility.
Why did I lack credibility with my daughter? Why could she not see the obvious danger that comes from not thinking?
What I came up with is context. She doesn’t have context. She lacks experience and therefore lacks wisdom. In essence, she lacks legitimate options in her toolbox. Nothing bad has ever REALLY resulted from her poor decisions. So she doesn’t buy bad things as a likely result of poor decision making. And… she has no experience with making good decisions… so she lacks those in her toolbox, too. So… in such situations… she freezes… like a deer in the headlights…. She doesn’t brake. She doesn’t turn right. She doesn’t turn left. She doesn’t speed up. She just maintains her current course and speed… even as two vehicles attempt to defy the laws of logic and Physics… and occupy the same SpaceTime contiguously….
I think a lot of us may be like that. We lack experience. And we lack legitimate options. And we are afraid to look bad…. To admit our limitations…. So, consequently… many of us are afraid to make decisions. We just keep moving along the same course at the same speed… even though we see the clear and present danger ahead….
Seems like a lot of people like lives wrapped in bubble wrap these days…. So our hearts are protected from the results of bad decisions…. So… our learning is inhibited…. We are too protected from the consequences of poor decisions…. No fault this…. No fault that…. It’s always someone else’s fault…. Never mine….
I am never held accountable for my choices….
Therefore… I never learn that their may be better options….
I just keep beating my head against the same wall the same wall… wondering why the wall won’t ever get out of the way… instead of searching for a door… or even a window….
Seeking another… less painful… better way….
Thinking…. Planning…. Finding some new way… outside the box….
Once she was focused, she did OK. She made some OK decisions. And even some good decisions as we went along. And she could explain why she made the decisions she made the further we got. And… she became more comfortable planning ahead and making decisions quicker….
And that’s a better strategy….