I had a busy day at work. We had a lot of patients which means lots of cataract surgeries today. Like most people about to have a surgical procedure, our patients are instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before their surgery. We use local anesthetic with I.V. sedation so it is best to keep an empty stomach. After surgery, we offer juice or water to drink. The majority of patients lust for coffee. Oh I know what it’s like to try to start your day without a good, hot cup of coffee. And because we begin the surgery day so early, many patients leave us and go straight to the coffee shop or breakfast place to get a hearty cup of caffeine and breakfast on the side. I totally understand.
One of my last patients of the day was yearning for his coffee. He told me he was up early because he couldn’t sleep. He explained how his coffee maker was all set up and ready to go. He kept walking past it with a burning desire to reach out with his finger and push that start button to brew his pot of coffee. It was driving him crazy!
So it made me think of buttons. And of pushing buttons. When my daughters were young, it was always a race to see who would get to the elevator buttons and push that coveted ‘up’ or ‘down’ button first. In 1993, a film version of the Dennis the Menace comic strip character has squirmy little Dennis trying to sit still while at the neighbor’s house while eying a button that he is just dying to push. Yes he pushes it. And yes, it causes a disaster. There is that button on top of a desk top bell that you ring for service. Most people can’t resist pressing that one. Upon searching I found this interesting button-pushing experiment where,to launch the high quality TV channel TNT in Belgium a big red push button was placed on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town. A sign with the text “Push to add drama” invited people to use the button. Here’s what happened…
There is so much power in the push of a button! I can push a button and make toast, start my coffee maker, unlock my car doors, text and dial on my phone, start my dishwasher, choose ice or water from my refrigerator door, change the radio station, take a picture, and so much more. Amazing, isn’t it?
But for all that we can accomplish with the push of a button, why is it so hard NOT to push the button? I suppose it all goes back to the Garden of Eden when man was told he couldn’t do something – eat from the tree of life. Of course we want what we are told we can’t have. Like a little child who is told “don’t” do something, we are innately programmed to want to do the opposite. Buttons are for pushing and we want to have the gratification of the results of that push – whether we know what to expect or not. My dear patient wanted his coffee and he knew he could have it at the push of a button.
Keep track tomorrow of how many buttons you push each day. You may be surprised. And I bet you even raced at least once in your lifetime to be the first to push that elevator button. Such power we have at the tips of our fingers. My advice is to make sure you always know what you’re pushing.
You don’t want to push the wrong buttons!