Order of Chaos

Steps to Help the World Get Right

Most agree that focusing on the journey instead of the destination is the key to finding joy and happiness.  A life well-lived is a journey of discovery.

My blessed personal adventure has ingrained in me specific rules and perceptions based on my discoveries.  As with yours, it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and my rules of the road.

Tapping keen observational powers while on my path, bunches of behaviors have been revealed that I just don’t understand, including some comportments that seem, to me, to be just flat-out unacceptable.

I believe we can do better.  There’s stuff we can do.

Society would be so much improved — and perhaps world peace achieved — if humanity acknowledged and took action to address the following observations.

  • Pay attention to pace. Sauntering on a busy sidewalk or in a grocery store aisle, driving slowly in the left lane, and texting while walking or driving is annoying at best, provoking and dangerous at worst.  Get along little doggie.  And watch the road.
  • Toilet paper should always roll off the roll over and down, not under and down. Normal folks set up toilet paper in the “over” position.  Degenerates “under.”  Corollary:  Not replacing the toilet paper roll when it’s down to three or fewer squares.  Hint:  The next roll is probably under the sink.
  • Drivers failing to disengage their turn signals after a lane change. Which comes first?  The hey-dummy car-dinging reminder that your blinkers are still on for that lane change you made seven minutes ago or the wife’s admonition that you’re beyond question an old man?
  • Listening to news stories on cell phones while in someone else’s home or a public place at a loud enough volume so that all can hear. Or music.  Get some earplugs.  Or your own space.
  • Finishing pumping gas at an uneven cents number. This lackadaisical, inattentive action engenders bad karma.  For example, $34.76.  Worse:  $26.99.  Imminent danger tied to the latter:  Accidently going to $27.01, which, of course, means that you have to stand at the pump three more minutes trying to skootch the amount to an even $28.00.
  • It should be universally acknowledged that cracks in the sidewalk are not something to trifle with because danger lurks in those empty spaces. If at all possible, step over them.  If that requires too much attention, look ahead, not down, and think about the destination.  Thoughts of your next meal works, too.  Corollary:  There is sound logic to never stepping on the chalk lines coming on or off the baseball field.  Jump over the foul line.  That’s why the Yankees came up short this year.  Look it up.
  • Speaking of cracks, if wearing pants down across one’s keister is a fashion statement, the required accessory should be that one’s shoelaces must be tied together on all journeys. For six consecutive days.
  • If you straighten to perfectly perpendicular position the little gray plastic hangy-down tray holder on the airplane seat in front of you, you are actually helping the pilot stay on course. Didn’t know that, did you?  Better yet — get to your seat first and make sure all three hangy-downs in your aisle’s seats are perfectly plumb.  That helps with take-off and landing.
  • Speaking of airplane seats … Stubbornly taking up both armrests on a flight. This action should automatically reward offenders with a seat shift to the back of the plane, therefore bestowing the premium benefit of being the last individual to depart the cabin.

Stacked Rocks

  • Blatant disregard of order. Jeopardy answers should be taken in order by contestants, least dollar value to most.  Bubble-pack pill sleeves should be emptied in rows.  Books on shelves should be neatly and logically arranged (e.g., authors, subjects, height, hardcover, paperback).  Rugs should be perpendicular to doors and “stuff” plumb to desk and counter edges.  Messing with a sequence or arrangement of successive things is asking for trouble.  Science has proven that stuff catawampus just ain’t right.
  • Not letting the person behind you in line go ahead of you when you have way more items than them. That’s breaking Grocery Commandment #1.  #2:  Going to an express checkout with more than 10 items.  #3:  Putting something back on the wrong shelf.  #4:  Leaving the cart in or adjacent to your parking space instead of returning it to cart storage.
  • While on the subject of parking, parking across two spaces. Somewhere, sometime back in the day we were taught that the objective is to get between those two white lines, not to center one directly under your vehicle.
  • Not knowing what you want to order when it’s your turn after standing in line for 10 minutes. Ditto with the drive-in lane.  Indecisive people have a special place reserved in heaven.  That dog don’t hunt.
  • Chewing loudly with your mouth open. Corollary:  Popping/Snapping your gum in public.
  • Rushing into an elevator before allowing people to get off. Corollary:  Not standing to one side on an elevator or escalator.
  • Inexplicable cake-cutting techniques. Wedge works just fine.
  • Heating up last night’s fish dinner or batch of steamed broccoli in the microwave at work. If you must reheat those pungent leftover pursuits, save such odoriferousness for the privacy of your home.
  • Even accepting that Facebook is a great place to get updates and view pictures of family members and “real life” friends who live in other parts of the country or abroad, there is soooo much that is fingernails-on-the-chalkboard wrong about this opiate of the masses: game requests, quick acceptance of misinformation (no matter how idiotic or senseless), cyber-bullying, teaser posts, unnecessary notifications, quotes posted without context, one’s entire self-worth being dependent on responses, “checking in” to whoknowsorcareswhere posts, etc.  And consider the possibility that someone, somewhere, sometimes is trying to manipulate you into doing something.
  • While on the subject of social media … Dear YouTube: It’s is a pretty safe assumption that we all want to “skip the ad.”
  • Honor holiday periods. For every Christmas tree lit before Thanksgiving, an elf drowns a turkey.
  • Your call is important to us. Please enjoy this 25-minute saxophone solo interrupted every 15 seconds by a recording telling you your call is important followed 15 seconds later with a pitch of some sort.  What are marketing execs thinking?
  • Uploading your resume on a company’s job-application website and then immediately being asked to re-enter all of the information that’s already on your resume.
  • Being on time. In fact, don’t just be on time — be respectfully early.  Sometimes I wonder if folks know how time and, more specifically, punctuality, works.  I’m assuming that your time is valuable.  I know that my time is valuable.  If you’ve made an appointment, you owe the other party punctuality.
  • Bringing small children to a movie. Then, when they start to fuss, trying for 10 minutes to pacify them rather than immediately getting up and walking them out to the lobby.  Corollary:  Incessant talking during the movie.
  • Tearing open a packet of anything exactly where it says to tear, but the bag remains sealed. Corollary:  Pulling back the pop-top on your favorite liquid refreshment, and seeing it click into attention without popping open the seal even a smidgeon.  C’mon manufacturers.  Get with the program.
  • Honk if you love Jesus — texting while driving is a good way to get a personal introduction. In the blink of an eye, you could wreck (pun intended) your future, injure or kill others, and break hearts for generations.  Bottom line:  The road is no place to socialize.  Put it down and leave it down.
  • Aim better.  Think about it.  C’mon, man.
  • “Reply All” is practical when working in a group or conveying information to your family. In a large percentage of cases, though, there’s no reason to send your response to everyone on an email chain.
  • Always complaining but never trying to find solutions. Corollary:  Self-created drama.
  • Be charitable. Haven’t stepped up of late? Get back to the habit of giving during this special time of year. The good we do in this world is our true wealth and measure. We rise by lifting others.
  • Don’t compare. Everyone is on a different life journey.  If yours isn’t working out, don’t give up.  Find another way. Focus on being present and creating a new path.  It’s never too late to fix something.
  • Lame lists masquerading as blog posts. (Shame on me!)

Imagine the better world we would have if, along the way, we all did our part to tweak a few of these things, serious and otherwise.  If we treated folks the way that you would want to be treated?

Looking for some New Year’s resolutions ideas?  Seriously, buck up and always be kind.  Continue to chase your dreams.  Never lose the drive to learn, love and live.  Push aside the naysayers and cut contact with toxic people.  Keep looking for sunshine.  Give folks a bit more sugar.  Don’t be a spectator.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Your actions can gladden the hearts of everyone traveling the journey.  Including yours.

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