Saturday, May 22, 2010

You Don't Have to be a Brain Surgeon to Know That...

This is the beginning of a new feature in which I hope many will participate. As a brain surgeon, the phrase "you don't have to be a brain surgeon to know that..." has particular resonance for me. The second half of the statement is generally something that it is assumed any fool should know. The implication of the first part of the statement is that there are things that are so esoteric or complex only an individual blessed with a prodigious intellect could comprehend them. Well, when it comes to brain surgeons, the truth of the matter is that though we do study and train for years, rigorously, a great deal of what we need to know on a day to day basis is a matter of common-sense. The majority of the knowledge we utilize daily is knowledge that most people possess. What is truly remarkable is how often we human beings forget the simple truths that are so often fundamental to our well-being and success. Why people do not utilize the knowledge they possess is an interesting question to which I don't have the answer. Perhaps part of the answer lies in people's unwillingness to expend the mental energy required to understand the basics of a sitiuatuion they may find themselves in. When one does make a effort one often finds that the solution to a predicament often follows or better yet, keeps a person from falling into a predicament in the first place. Ultimaletly, with less predicaments, we have more time for contentment and pleasure in life.

So, in an effort to provide some simple insight I will begin cataloging some of those things that all should know but all tend to disregard at one time or another. I would be delighted if you would send in your items which you feel should be included in such a list.

My first entry is: If you are going to be far from a toilet for a while and you think you have to go, go.

Uncomfortable, embarrassing, all-consuming, and, oh yeah, very uncomfortable are some of the words that come to mind when you really have to go to the bathroom and one is not available. It is truly amazing how often we find ourselves in this situation even after our parents have warned us. Just think about it again for a moment before you get into a car for a ride that will take longer than fifteen minutes.