Distraction costs. If you do not see something coming, it might hit you. So we need to pay the price of watching and focusing lest we miss a threat. This can turn out to be a higher price than we like and some people are too stingy to pay it.

Driving a vehicle and walking in or across a street are notorious for needing attention. Yet bloody accidents occur regularly, because people are not thinking about what they are doing and how dangerous it is. One has to give up other activities in order to pay attention. We often want to talk, eat, or text, and not doing these things costs us time if we have to stop moving to do them. Walking into a street lamp is a minor cost but driving into that pole is more expensive.

We are often advised to pay attention to other acts often taken for granted. Diet demands more planning when health deteriorates. Exercise becomes deliberate when sedentary jobs are taken. Financial planning needs more attention than most of us give it — talk about cost!

It’s impossible to be constantly alert to everything. A nice life has plenty of room for distraction, entertainment, and relaxation. Games and arts take our attention to worthwhile projects. Just remember that you might have to pay for that lack of attention to more immediate needs.

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