Imagine you are driving to work one day. When stopped at an intersection you turn to the right and take notice the driver. He appears pretty average, except that he is reading a book and eating a sandwich. Instead of becoming enraged at his stupidity, you imagine what is going through his mind when he pulled his book from the glove compartment and the sandwich from the brown paper bag.
“Red light, green light, same old, same old. Driving sure is boring.”
“…Steve, you genius.”
(Steve opens the glove compartment and reaches for a dilapidated copy of My Life as Crocodile Junk Food).
“Why has no one has thought of this? I mean, I always see people driving and they look bored as heck. Why don’t they just read a book!?”
Several pages into the book, Steve’s stomach rumbles.
“Oh man… Oh man, oh man! I could eat too!”
Steve reaches for the sandwich, the smirk on his face revealing his intense self-satisfaction.
“I’ve got to tell the guys about this, they won’t believe how smart I am.”
When you’re driving around town and decide to text a friend or apply make-up, you are not being a genius. There is a reason why you don’t see everybody doing these things while driving, and it’s not because they haven’t thought of it. Everyone knows that it’s possible to do these things while driving, but they also know that it’s demented and dangerous.
Next time you have a brilliant idea that seems really obvious, ask yourself the question, “Is there a reason why people don’t do this?”