If you’re naïve and you know it, raise your hand


Over the years, I’ve grown more and more fond of this…

People that don’t get it, don’t get that they don’t get it.

It perfectly summarizes things.

In general terms, it provides a blanket statement about ignorance. Not because people don’t recognize what they’re doing or have a grasp of it in general… more to the point they have little to no understanding of their actions and how they impact upon others and/or the stupidity of them

For specific terms, you may need to step back and look over the situation involved, but the blinders are most definitely still on.

A very large percentage of your annoying co-workers, I believe, don’t realize they’re annoying co-workers.

People using chainsaws while standing on ladders and leaning way out to catch the branch that’s thisclosetothem when they stretch, I know as a fact, don’t realize they should have the car ready with a driver aware of the shortest route to the emergency room.

We can all agree personalities and ridiculous use of tools are specifics where the underlying actions and impulses come from totally different places. Lack of understanding is still involved in both.

There are all sorts of humorous (and not so humorous) examples where people should have checked out the scenery in front of them, given sound and purposeful thought to their actions ahead of taking that first step, and realized holding off on putting plans into motion might just be for the best. (And we’ll come back around to this.) For me though, I think the most annoying is when an individual or group violates the written and unwritten codes of conduct that fall under the umbrella of common areas.

Most of us understand the concept of a common area. If we’re in your place of residence, it refers to living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and all of the places used by multiple people.

Written guidelines exist in locations such as the workplace… where the sights, sounds, smells and more may need formal declaration.

Unwritten guidelines though are unwritten because… well… just because. (Or, more accurately, because we don’t all feel the need for written roommate agreements outlining every little detail of daily activity.)

The reason such becomes so annoying is that violations often have at their foundation a lack of respect for others and a lack of responsibility for one’s actions.

Which in turn leads us back to the opening of this essay…

People that don’t get it, don’t get that they don’t get it.

(As promised, this brings us into that realm of sound and purposeful thought.)

I was reading an article the other day that discussed how the actions of people living in one house of a neighborhood were disturbing many of the residents in other houses. Of the many examples cited, making noise early on weekend mornings seemed the most important and annoying. (With lawn mowers, chainsaws, and other engines being applied to yardwork around 7am.)

When I was growing up, I recall consideration being afforded to the people living near you that didn’t need to be stated. There was no movement to start cutting the grass or begin trimming trees around the moment the first rays of sunshine were reaching your yard, especially on a day of rest. That carries with me today… when quite often I’ll glance at the clock before heading to the garage to fill the gas tank on my lawn mower and then move on to the yard.

Most of us recognize that a lawn mower running at 7am on a Saturday morning in an unwelcome noise. But…

What if you live on a large tract of land… and there are no neighbors to hear most of your equipment?

What if you live your life up before dawn… where what others may consider early is actually deep into your day?

What if your work schedule, and potentially the work schedules of those assisting you in a project, creates a limited window of opportunity for approaching the job?

Awareness is the missing key. But I suppose that’s a bit too easy (and perhaps overly simple).

(Or is it?)

Many years ago I recall getting a pretty great piece of advice. Shortened a bit…

Any offer should be just as valid tomorrow as it is today.

Every rule has its exceptions. This concept holds true to that… where all of us can think of moments where immediate action or response could be necessary.

And yet… one of the most basic ways for overcoming naïve and reckless and foolish actions can be just a bit of thought. Taking a step back, looking things over, and acting on them a day or two later (or, with a bit of recognition for surroundings, and just maybe for the action-reaction progression of the world).

Yes, some people could be described in amazingly unflattering terms that indicate they are not just idiots, but have no regard for those in the crosshairs of their actions.

In many cases though, I wonder if we all need to recognize just a bit more about personal accountability. Not because naïve approaches or intent can offer an excuse… rather that awareness word again.

Remember that game as a child?

I know” – “I know you know, but do you know I know you know?” – “I knew. But did you know I knew you knew I knew?

Some people don’t get it. Few people seem to get that they don’t get it. And therein lies our destination for this journey, and, a full arrival at awareness.

I refuse to stand in the way of acting impulsively or spontaneously or more. Occasionally we all need those moments of excitement… we need to find and experience unexpected treasures… we need to step out of comfort zones and attempt something new. Got it… love it… applaud it.

Hopefully though… along the adventures of a lifetime… we can walk the path with an appreciation for what each of us, and those around us, may or may not have to offer. And in applying that appreciation, realize that what we know isn’t always what they know.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com