Often not a good thing, complacency. Especially when something of real value is at stake.
When we get complacent, we’re not as alert as at other times. We lapse into routines and habits.
Since it is born out of becoming accustomed to events and surroundings that seemingly never vary, complacency is comfortable
Complacency can lull a good driver into accepting brief distractions, because nobody coming the other way ever crosses the centerline, right?
In a small town, neighbors don’t lock their doors at night because nobody ever comes inside the house with evil intent. “Hasn’t happened around here in years. In fact, I don’t remember the last time anybody got robbed in this area.” Sound familiar?
And for years we get away with it. Because for those who live where the pace of life and of change is slow, the odds are long in favor of things continuing on as they have in the past.
So what’s my point?
Last weekend Carol and I hitched up the camper-trailer and headed for the Austin area. We left on Friday afternoon, and returned roughly 48 hours later to find our double garage door wide open.
That double door is controlled by an electric opener, so when it’s closed you can’t get it open without a remote control. And the other outside doors to our house are locked when we leave town. But there is a door from our garage into our kitchen that is never locked. So from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, the house was open to anyone who might have chosen to enter and help themselves to its contents.
I had a momentary vision of our personal items rifled, the inside of the house vandalized, anything of fast (pawn) value gone, and worse. But nothing had been touched. I doubt very much if anyone ever set foot on the property.
Maybe the fact that there was still one car, my little commute-to-work Mazda, parked there in the open garage as an indication that someone might be at home helped. Or maybe the fact that we always leave a few lights turned on but attached to timers to give the illusion of someone’s presence made a difference.
But more likely, nobody even noticed the open house or thought of it as an opportunity.
Usually when we leave, we back out of the garage and watch the doors close as we’re backing down the driveway to the street. But when we hitch up the trailer we’re always facing away from the house and don’t notice such things as we pull away.
It’s said that locked doors will only keep out an honest man or a very casual intruder, but not someone determined to get in. Maybe so. But the momentary shocking images passing through my mind when I noticed the wide open doors to the garage will probably help me remember to close that darned thing next time we leave.