Examples of Thoughtlessness In Everyday Life
As we saw in the earlier sections, one who cannot use his wisdom is at a great loss both in this world and the next. However, it would not be right to assess this loss only in terms of spirituality. a person also faces various hardships, discomfort, and losses caused by thoughtlessness in his daily life.
So, in this section we will explain the seriousness of this danger by providing examples of the kind of thoughtlessness that dogs the unintelligent person throughout his life.
Imprudence of a Thoughtless Person
In newspapers and television, we witness many occurrences that come about as a result of a lack of caution. and there is no end to these happenings. and many people make similar mistakes themselves, even though they read about them in the newspapers. We regularly come across a number of people who are go to sleep holding a cigarette and burn their homes down, whose children fall from balconies, whose fingers get caught in factory machinery, and so on and so forth. Without a doubt such examples of thoughtlessness are daily events experienced in societies that have strayed from religion. These people cannot make accurate predictions on how an event will develop after a few phases. Similarly, they cannot draw wise conclusions from their past experiences which they may be able to use in the future. Because they cannot appreciate the value of the means they have to hand, they cannot take sound precautions to prevent possible dangers.
Let us list some of the accidents and dangerous incidents that come about as a result of the imprudence of one who doesn't use his mind:
A thoughtless person tries to figure out how to use new equipment by experimenting with it, instead of using the manual or learning from someone who is acquainted with it. He doesn't see anything wrong in the rough handling of fragile parts or fiddling with buttons he doesn't know the use for on electronic items, such as a stereo set, or on a delicate device such as a computer. For this reason, he usually breaks brand new equipment without ever using it.
He doesn't see any harm in giving a child small pieces of plastic, which he can swallow, to play with. He begins to think of the inappropriateness of this behaviour when the child starts choking and needs to be taken to the hospital.
A thoughtless person tries to carry furniture made up of two or three pieces in one go and generally drops them all, half way. He cannot calculate that these need to be carried one by one.
A thoughtless person cannot imagine the damaging effect the sun will have on the human body. He harms his skin by staying out in the sun for longer than necessary, and sometimes even for hours on end. Because of the sun, his skin begins to swell up and deep wounds appear on his skin. He becomes nauseated and has a headache. Although he experiences these troubles every summer, he repeats the same mistake the next summer because he doesn't draw on his wisdom.
Moreover, he doesn't see any harm in playing with stray cats or dogs, which may be diseased for all he knows. In fact, most cases of diseases, such as rabies are the result of such imprudence.
Such a person is not sensitive to sudden smells or noises. He doesn't realize the significance of such things, even if he does realize it, he doesn't pay attention to them, either because of his unconcerned nature or because he cannot think of the dangers that may ensue. However, his house could burn down or he could be poisoned, because he cannot sense danger in the smell of gas or he may be faced with a fire because he doesn't respond to the smell of burning in time.
He injures himself by careless behaviour, such as plugging a wet plug into an outlet. He often suffers electric shocks because he changes the light bulb or does electronic repairs without shutting down the power.
He chops food very hastily with a very sharp knife. Because he doesn't calculate the possible injury, he cuts his finger.
Because he empties the dishwater with wet hands, the plates slip from his hand. and because he attempts to pick up the broken pieces with his hands he cuts himself.
He doesn't hesitate to open the door to a stranger and even invite him in. As a result, he is assaulted or his house is burgled.
By placing a hot pan on a glass table, he may cause it to crack. Or by placing a teapot on a wooden table he damages the surface.
When he is going on a road trip, he doesn't think to take preventative measures in case his car breaks down. Even if he does think of doing so, his arrangements are barely adequate. If he fills up the fuel tank, he forgets to take a spare tyre or check the water or the oil in the car.
He leaves everything to the last minute. For example, even when he has to catch his plane, he doesn't pack his luggage or run his errands till the last minute. Let's say his house is an hour away from the airport; he doesn't leave until there are only twenty minutes left. Even if he leaves on time, because he hasn't planned how to get there, he cannot find a cab or, even if he finds a cab, because he hasn't foreseen a traffic jam, he loses time and misses his flight. He experiences such mishaps all the time, but he still doesn't give up his indifference or think of wise precautions.
When he is carrying things, he doesn't think to remove anything that he could step on or bump into. He realizes his mistake only when he stumbles across obstacles or when he bumps into something while he is carrying something heavy.
He doesn't see the danger in placing an object on the edge of a coffee table, or other such piece of furniture from which it can fall and break with the slightest impact.
A Thoughtless Person's Understanding of Art and Aesthetics
Generally, people have a standard understanding of art and aesthetics. They apply the things they have learned from an early age throughout their lives. They apply whatever is thought to be fashionable at the time. But they don't apply their wisdom and try to produce something new. Their taste in art is completely based on imitation. Such people as are lacking in wisdom cannot come up with anything unique that they thought of themselves, even if they achieve a certain technical success with the things they imitate.
They especially use classical models in decorating their environment. We could make a list of the details of decorative styles people generally use.
As a thoughtless person doesn't use his time wisely, it takes him months to redecorate his house. Even the painting and cleaning of a small house goes on for months on end. He cannot evolve ways of doing tasks practically and efficiently.
One who doesn't apply his wisdom doesn't have any special interest in art or decoration; he can live without making any changes in his house for years. When he does eventually decide to make some changes, the first thing he thinks of is to change the fabric of the couches. He has no conception of moving the furniture around or in any other way making his surroundings more pleasant.
Even if he has a lot of opportunities, he cannot use them wisely. Even if he buys the most expensive, highest quality furniture, he cannot position it with any attempt at artistry.
Even if he succeeds in decorating his living space pleasantly, he fails to make it a relaxed, comfortable, and a healthy place to live in at the same time.
He cannot use his intelligence in the placing of his furniture. He places breakable, glass vases at points where people can easily bump into them. Similarly, he doesn't see any harm in using sharp and pointed objects as decorative pieces, and he places them where people can easily come into contact with them and hurt themselves.
He cannot get rid of anything, even though he has too many things. He tries to use old and new items at the same time. With every new item he purchases, he crowds his house and his house becomes even gloomier. He cannot realize the confusion that is created and is himself not disturbed by living in a gloomy place.
The things we listed thus far are only a few examples of how lack of wisdom reflects on daily life. But obviously, it is not possible to limit the hardship and damage thoughtlessness causes to people. One, who shuts his mind, will experience similar difficulties and hardship continuously till the end of his life. The only way to eliminate them, as has been explained from the beginning of the book, is to submit oneself to the clear mind with which religion rewards us. Thereby, wisdom, with the ease it brings, will rule a person's existence so that he may live a life of peace and beauty.