3 ways to avoid doing incredibly dumb things

In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

Most people consider themselves to be somewhat intelligent until they go running face first into a glass door, hit themselves in the face with a hammer or go toppling off a ladder into mud.

Although most of us would like to believe the human race utilizes their minds on a regular basis, the news is always brimming with stories of people who forgot to think twice before they acted.

The Darwin Awards, named after Charles Darwin (the father of evolution), were created in order to, “salute the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it.” Their website is full of tragic death stories by way of crocodiles, wheelchairs, gum, and buses. (Among other things.)

In order to save you and your family from joining their ranks, here are just a few suggestions to help you avoid an early, tragic death or merely save face in front of your friends:

1. Be aware of your surroundings

Watch where you step, make your house safe, and keep an eye out for trouble. You never know when one of your kids will try to stick a fork into a light socket or eat a penny or two. Sometimes taking a few seconds to pay attention may save you a lot of pain. For example, this man featured on ABC News: After his nephew left a bottle of super glue on the table, 69-year-old Kaushik Pandya accidentally picked it up (thinking that it was his eye drops) and glued his eye lids together. If he had taken the time to look at the bottle, he would have realized his mistake before making it.

2. Read the instructions

Expiration dates and dosages are not optional, and believe it or not, instructions are there for a reason. In 1994, Stella Liebeck filled a lawsuit against McDonalds after she received, “third degree burns in her pelvic region when she spilled hot coffee.” Since then, McDonalds and other coffee vendors have placed strict warnings on their cups to make sure other people do not suffer the same fate. Silly as it seems, there is a good reason why there are manuals, warnings and little tags attached to items that seem harmless. Even hot coffee cups can cause dastardly horrified injuries if used incorrectly. Taking 1 minute to read the “Warning” label could save you lots of trouble.

3. Use your head

Sometimes remaining safe is simply a matter of making smart, quick decisions. According to a report by Daily Mail, when 7-year-old Rita Lawlor’s house caught on fire, she moved quickly into action. She couldn’t get her mom to wake up, so she slapped her face with a piece of pizza and called 911. She was honored by the local fire department for being a hero. When disaster strikes, it is not time to panic, but to jump into action. Create a safety plan for your family, so that you can act and think wisely under pressure.

I shamefully admit that I am not perfect. One day, I went to go take off my eye makeup and realized that the bottle of “eye makeup remover” that I just poured and smeared into my eye was actually nail polish remover. The pain was excruciating, and I could feel the burning singe into my retina. It was not super glue, but I will never forget running half-blind into the living room of my apartment, yelling wildly to my roommates to call poison control, and then spending the next half hour in the shower trying to clean out my eye.

Do not do dumb things. Take a little bit more time and mental energy to protect yourselves and your family. Although stories about human stupidity are entertaining, there is no reason why you should discover more dumb ways to die.

If this article isn’t enough to keep you from doing something stupid, check out this video:

Katelyn Carmen

Katelyn Carmen is a freelance content marketer, writer and graphic designer. She loves her husband, family, friends and faith.