I can’t help but think about the wealthy old man who had hearing difficulties in his later years. Being stingy, he finally relented and sprung for a state of the art hearing aid. While the doctor was adjusting the volume for him, the doctor said, “this will really impress your family. Let me know what they say about it.”
The following visit, the doctor asked immediately, what does the family think of your new hearing abilities. The old man replied, “they don’t know I can hear.” The doctor then said, what’s the benefit in that?” To which the old man said, “I’ve been listening to everybody’s conversations since I got this thing, and I’ve changed my will three times.”
The truth of the matter is, sometimes ignorance is bliss; it’s less stressful. Even now, I imagine walking through life wearing a headset that filters everything out except the sounds of a mountain brook and birds singing. I get this way more often as I age when the cacophony of life sends me into sensory overload.
Meandering this evening with my wife in Walmart looking for a small gift for our young niece’s birthday, I thought I was on a cheap haunted house ride at the county fair. Wherever I went, housewares, automotive, candles, or dairy, at each turn I was bombarded with the screams of children from newborn to seven years of age acting bratty. Like cab drivers in New York City who appear to honk their horns for no earthly reason, these cantankerous children’s screams and moans continued throughout the tenure of my shopping experience. I must admit, I am fascinated at the concentration level some parents exhibit. If my child were turning red from screaming, climbing over shelves, and yelling like Tarzan on Speed, I’d be in my child’s face like a cob web to a forehead.
I know from experience that it isn’t just the kids who need a corrective drop kick through the goal posts of life, it’s the parent’s too! Is it possible we can be a bit more vocal with our own critique of their parenting skills?
All I know is that if I choose to be non-confrontational and desire peace, I have to shop at 4 am and wear ear plugs the size of Volkswagens just so I can achieve it.
I’d offer more insights on this subject except while waiting for my wife, my left arm has now swelled. The increased blood pressure from my stressful shopping experience has my arm stuck in the free blood pressure cuff at the Walmart Pharmacy. No, no, I’ll be fine, do you have earplugs?