The enemy within: distraction.

Posted on 16 October, 2015 by Patrick Estebe in General Security

000aDistraction has become such an addiction for so many that it has become a major element of our culture. Every animal living in nature knows better than being distracted; for them surprise means death. Paying attention, for every animal is the only way to enjoy the gift of life.

But modern humans have strayed so far off this way of life they would rather have their distractions rather than actually live, like sugar addicts who would rather have their sugar than their health.

That distraction often means death is surprisingly irrelevant to these lost souls, and many make the final decision that they would rather die, or kill innocents, than stop texting when driving. Some would argue that they do not make this decision, but the truth is no one is twisting their arms.

Distraction is, like sugar in our diets, omnipresent. Most cars are offered with automatic transmission, so that drivers do not have to focus anymore on driving, the single most important thing to do when driving! Worse many parents will actually help their kids acquire this first car, and opt for automatic transmission, thus irrevocably inviting the kids to eschew focusing on driving, not to mention preventing them to ever become good drivers. Music systems and cup holders are also unfortunate invitations to have the drivers’ mind set on things other than driving… As if the roads were the safest place in the world.

000Distraction is endemic to such a degree that even when presenting news, themselves a distraction, most networks would actually encumber the lower third of the screen with more distracting information, sometimes not even related to the main subject. As if by preventing everyone to actually be able to focus on what is being said, the idea is to maintain the minds is a constant state of inattention.

If we could see the minds of these distracted people as bodies; they would look like 300 to 400 pounders, unable to actually do anything effectively. Granted some are not that badly distracted, they would be just like 260 pounders… still no match for the athletic minds of those who live without distraction.

Limiting distraction, like avoiding sugar is an uphill battle, as our culture has been going toward both distraction and sugar addiction for a long time now. Much more so in fact, as maintaining motivation in matters of the mind is much more difficult than maintaining motivation for the body.  The big problem with distraction is that we are not aware that we are distracted.

The only solution is to develop the habit of focusing on what we are doing and striving to do it as well as we possibly can. Going back to driving stick shift will force the mind to actually focus on driving and possibly impel to get track training. Training is essential for any activity that requires performance; there is no excuse for skipping gun range training, much less cardio and physical training, and the same applies to driving.

In a confrontation between a morbidly obese person and an athlete all bets will always be on the athlete. In a confrontation between a distracted person and one paying attention the score is also obvious.

How distracted is your mind?022


  1. I read Pensées by Blaise Pascal and I remember a small chapter being dedicated to “Diversions” and what struck me is that even with modern devices back in the 1400′s, mankind still knew how to seek out distractions and from the way he put it – it sounded like a room with a big loud TV going!!!!

    from Blaise Pascal, Pensées

    “All of man’s misfortune comes from one thing, which is not knowing how to sit quietly in a room”

    OK the original quote is below.
    J’ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d’une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

  2. Add cruise control to the driving mindless issue.

    Our (American) society seems to reward the distractedness – look at our television shows and what passes for entertainment. All about diversion and avoiding looking at the real issues of the day.

    Thank you for the article.


  3. I believe that what you refer to is directly related to the pursuit of immediate gratification and the desire to forgo processes. But sadly it is in these processes that truth is found. Whether it corresponds to real driving skill or self defense or anything really. To “be” anything one has to “become” it and it is the process of this that most want to skip. They seek to be or to get there or to have it all without becoming it or the journey or the earning of it all. From this stems the need or search for distraction. It is the desire to not feel the process. And of course our society readily caters to the masses by creating and facilitating the myriad of ways to numb themselves and shortcut or expedite every aspect of our lives.

  4. Consider Henry David Thoreau “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at…”

    The global paradigm shift from attentive towards a constant state of inattention is simply accelerating our eventual demise, only we are so distracted we don’t see it coming ∴ distract the attention of any species and you transfer control the outcome to the enemy, only in this case it’s the enemy within.

  5. I would argue that distraction is from within.At one point it would be true,however all species are born with some degree of awareness for survival the ones that lack it will not live.I propose that distraction is a learned behavior that has its origin from without.Various elements contribute ranging from comfort ,lack of daily emergency decisions or education etc. and finally reinforcement of this behaviour through the course of the day.


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