I lost my car keys yesterday. After blaming everyone else in my family and looking in all of the usual places, I finally gave up. Then as I was placing some recyclables in the bin I saw the glint of something shiny. I reached down and there they were….in the trash can. Whew.
I have too much on my mind. Scientists estimate that our senses are bombarded with 11 million pieces of information per second. We can hear the whirr of the air conditioner and the television set and the hammering next door at the same time we feel the book in our lap and the itch on our skin and the socks that don’t fit at the same time we smell dinner in the oven and the leftover cologne at the same time we read the paper and catch a glimpse of a squirrel scampering across the lawn…..
Of the 11 million pieces of information, we are only able to consciously process about 40 pieces of information per second. There is even one notable psychologist, George Miller, who wrote that we are really only able to handle 7 pieces of data at any one moment. Our subconscious and non conscious process the other 10,999,993 pieces. Our brain is able to instantaneously decide which items can be dealt with reflexively and which items require reflection. We subconsciously sidestep the puddle in the road or know to stop at a red light while we concentrate on our cell phone conversation.
The problem occurs when there is an overlap between reflection and reflexion. Or when reflexion should be given more reflection.
A few weeks ago I was stopped at a red light next to a police officer. A few seconds later I looked in my rear view mirror to find that I was being pulled over. I ran the red light. And I knew immediately why because I had done it before. This particular light is the first in a series of many traffic lights. I always try to anticipate when my light will turn green so I look ahead to the other lights. Then when they turn green I go even though my light hasn’t yet turned. I suspect I will get killed doing this someday. Unless someone takes my keys away…..or I keep throwing them in the trash.