A friend of mine told me today that her girlfriend doesn’t know how to swim. I know of people who are afraid of being in or near (large) bodies of water, specifically the ocean, but I hadn’t assumed that these people might also not know how to swim. I do not like being close to large bodies of water but I know how to swim. I may not be able to open my eyes while fully submerged but I can float and keep my head above water. Do you know anyone that doesn’t know how to swim? Family, friends, coworkers? If the answer is yes, are you surprised at how many or how few names are on that list?
Speculate more broadly. In industrialized nations, do you think there are more people who don’t know how to read or more who don’t know how to swim? Or both? Compare your estimations of those who can’t swim with those who
~ don’t know how to hit a baseball.
~ cannot reach into their satchel without looking and be able to retrieve an object smaller than their palm.
~ cannot parallel park.
~ don’t know how to operate any musical instrument.
~ don’t know how to ride a bicycle.
~ don’t know how to fly a kite.
~ don’t know how to operate an oven.
~ don’t know how to operate a laundry machine or a dryer.
~ cannot roller skate, ice-skate, or roller blade.
~ have never set foot on a skate board.
~ have never touched a surf board.
~ have never ridden a horse.
Which list would have the most names on it? If you could combine a minimum of two and maximum of four of those “don’t know how’s,” which combination would have the most names?
Not knowing how to do something in this sense means that while a person can explain the steps involved, that person has never participated in those steps (or has tried at least once and failed miserably).
If you enjoyed reading this entry, may I suggest What’s Worse.