There are times that I make decisions based on what I see other people care about. For instance, I don’t care if my kid eats something off the ground, but I’ve noticed that other people seem to care, so when I see them pick up something that fell on the ground I tell my children, “Oh, don’t eat that. That’s yucky.”
I have a drawer by the stove that is full of utensils: spatulas, measuring spoons and measuring cups, whisks, a ladle, a can opener, vegetable peeler. You know. That drawer. I just had all the stuff in there, there weren’t any organizers and everything was just chillin’ out together. Like a party. One day my mom and mother in law and sister in law were hanging out in the kitchen. Maybe they were cooking or something, but they all wanted me to organize the drawer. The thought hadn’t crossed my mind that I should make a point to go to the store and purchase something to go into my utensils drawer that would keep my whisks from getting unruly. So I told them they could have at it. By the next day I had little compartments within the drawer and everything was in its’ place. Weeks later one of them asked me if I liked the drawer better and if I could find what I needed quicker. “I guess so,” I said. It really didn’t make a difference to me either way. But after a few years of living with it like that I can see that I always know which area of the drawer to go to when I’m reaching for my measuring spoons. (And that comes in handy when you’re making a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies.) Now I notice if someone else unloads the dishwasher and puts something back into the drawer in the wrong place. I found myself correcting my son when he was helping me out one day. “Actually, the measuring cups go HERE.” I heard myself and was a little annoyed.
But I can see that other people like the drawer better when it’s organized and neat. So I do it.
There are all kinds of things that people do that I wouldn’t do unless I felt pressured socially. Things like worry that I have a trampoline with out a net. I wouldn’t care if it didn’t have a matt around the springs, but it does because I inherited it like that. I have a trampoline because it is fun to jump on. Why can’t it remain simple? You feel like jumping high and doing a flip because it is fun, so you go onto the trampoline and do it. That’s how it was when I was a kid, but now there are all these safety measures people have taken.
When people jump high on something that is 3 feet off the ground, there is a risk of falling. Sometimes people might get the wind knocked out of them and every once in a while someone gets a broken bone. To me, these are unfortunate moments, but natural consequences of being human. But there are people, lots of people, obviously, who feel that if there is a risk, we should find ways to prevent these things from happening. So they design things and sell them, making the world a safer place.
My guess is that those people don’t have ADD.