Creatures of habit

24 Oct

There’s a pothole one street over. I hit it quite frequently when I drive down that street even though I know it is there.
Is it forgetfulness – the dawn of senility? No. I’ve been driving that way for many years – the pothole is the interloper in this case. Eventually someone from the city, or from Mars, will come and fix the pothole so as to not disturb my driving habit and all will be well.
For me to change my driving habits will be to tamper with the fundamental fabric of the universe. I really don’t want to mess with that. Habits and rituals are a fundamental aspect of the human condition.
We all are creatures of habits. Some of realize this … some not.
We do things routinely without realizing it. These habits can only be broken if we realize that these are habits and consciously work hard to break them.
These habits can be inane – like hitting a pothole or arranging your coffee cup just so before drinking.
These habits can be self-limiting as well. I remember the time when people would proudly say, “I drive a Chevy, ‘cause my dad and grandpa drove ‘em.” (You can substitute Chevy for Chrysler, Ford, Plymouth, Mercury, Pontiac – any of the big three American car brands there.)
This is also dangerous because one can say – I vote for this party because my forefathers voted that way. People who think this way, will vote that way, out of habit, regardless of what the party stands for or who is in charge of that party.
Yes, this is a reference to the US election and Trump, but it is more than that. The Republicans have diverged greatly from their formative ideals – as have the Democrats. Both parties, as institutions, have done a sub-par job of steering America, and the population is right to be angry.
But to fall for a race-baiting, genital-snatching narcissist is unbelievable. The fact that Clinton is due to the perceived notion, not without merit, that no change will come. Habit. The fact that Trump is still nominally within striking distance of the presidency is largely because people are creatures of habit. Five Thirty Eight dot Com has an example of this here. They will vote the way they vote – end of story.
It is time to break the habit, on both sides.
It won’t destroy the Universe.
But it might fix that pothole.

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