The caption of another cartoon on my bulletin board: “The Crime, to the Best of Tiger’s Recollection.” What the cartoon shows is a brightly lit Tiger the cat in the foreground staring, with myopic intensity, at his bowl and an opened can of cat-food up on the counter. What Tiger is oblivious to is what the viewer sees in the background shadows: Tiger’s old lady owner tied to a chair, with a gag in her mouth, while two hooded thieves are going out the door with her television.
There is a bit of Tiger in us all, with areas in our lives of which we are blissfully ignorant. Sometimes we focus on one area of our life to such an extent that other areas move into a background of shadowy unconsciousness; at such times, our life can become unbalanced. Some tasks in life do require our complete attention, but what the Tiger cartoon seems to imply is that his myopia seems to be typical of his life. Life, however, demands a certain amount of multi-tasking of us, and just because we’re smart doesn’t necessarily mean we are good at multi-tasking. I once knew a brilliant theologian who so focused on whatever he was thinking of that he once drove off from a gas station leaving his young daughter standing there, and did not become aware of her absence for a number of miles.
I remember seeing a skit once where someone handed an object to a comedian, and once accepted, then handed another object to the comedian, who put down the first object in order to hold the second. When the person handed the first object back to the comedian, he put down the second object in order to hold the first one. I suspect that such a person could become immobilized by the vast opportunities of choice in Big Box stored such as Sam’s Club or Costco. What must daily life be like for such an inflexible person?
Modern life is complicated, and many areas in our day place demands upon our attention. Such demands require that we juggle awareness of a number of disparate things at the same time. I have discovered a game on my computer which has helped me to broaden my awareness of more than one thing at a time: Freecell. This game requires that I think a number of steps ahead of my current move in order to be aware of where my current move will take me down the road.
Not a bad game to play to help us in living life… eh?