Sunday, July 16, 2023

This Is Only a Test

Tests captured my attention. In the overall flow of life tests were significant speed bumps which changed my focus. Once completed, life would resume its easy going rhythm. With the completion of eight years of post secondary education tests were placed on a high and out of the way shelf. I knew what I needed to know and I did not need to increase my knowledge.

A remnant of the Cold War with its penchant of nuclear holocaust were public service ads on radio and television from the Emergency Broadcast System. The portion of the announcement etched into memory is, "This is only a test. If this had been an actual emergency...." In an actual emergency detailed instructions would have come from the Civil Defense. Actions including shelter locations and updates from governmental agencies would have been forthcoming. Emergencies change the rhythm of life. Most of our days are only a test with little need to be concerned about emergencies.

Driving an EV (a test drive) was a thrill! It was not a significant speed bump, but the vehicle had plenty of speed. The representative from the dealership instructed me on a small portion of its features. The rep drove the vehicle for about 10 miles, all the while explaining the system, showing off the acceleration, technological driving features, and providing basic EV education. Getting into the driver's seat for the return trip to the dealership was my test. Not only did I pass the test, but I passed many other vehicles along the way. The experience was awesome! Is it an emergency to purchase this vehicle? NO. I have a very capable eleven year old vehicle with over 200,000 miles. It is reliable. I know about internal combustion engines. I know about its creaks and quirks. I know what I need to know without the mind numbing array of   

Toyota bZ4X
electronics. I know about the workings of gas station/convenience stores. I know nothing about charging stations nor their locations. My life can easily slip back into its easy going rhythm.

Along with many people, I find it not only easy but comforting to have a calm flow of life. As the joke is told in the Upper Midwest, "How many people does it take to change a light bulb?" Answer, "Change?! Why do we need to change?" The resistance to change or even to prepare for the test runs deep in human nature.  The idea that once the test is completed there is nothing left to learn is powerful. The denial, the push back, the acrimony expressed when we are confronted about impending predicaments in culture, climate, and global community indicate our unwillingness to prepare for or even learn from tests. 

Confronted with my own resistance to move beyond what I know and believe is becoming too uncomfortable. It is an actual emergency. Thus I will seek, listen, discern, and respond to instructions that are presented from a variety of sources. This is not about protection and defense. It is about embracing the current spectrum of life, expanding the base of knowledge, and moving forward.  

No comments:

Post a Comment