Moving tentatively through the dark and unfamiliar hallway, I don’t quite stumble into the walls. Reaching the entrance to the kitchen without incident, I hit all the light switches. The low-energy lightbulbs in the over-height ceiling take a few minutes to come up to their full specified luminescence, so it’s all hands on deck.
With one hand I grope for the electric kettle: In this American rental, it’s a small miracle that speaks of a Canadian landlord. With the other I turn on the tap with just one thought: Tea. Everything else can wait: Caffeine takes priority.
My morning mental fog is still swirling, but the room’s morning murk is lifting, and I notice the plastic bottle on the ledge above the sink. Without thinking, I rap it sharply on the counter to de-glom the pills, flip the cap open, and pop my prescribed daily dosage of the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D pills can languish for years in my cupboard, passing their best-before date through inattention. But when they’re out in full sight I take them pretty reliably. Even in the morning.
As I move through my breakfast preparations, I think about how easy it is to do the right thing when it’s right in front of me. Putting my vitamins on the ledge above the sink, laying out my exercise clothes the night before, highlighting my chores or projects on the calendar: These are all simple but effective self-management tactics.
It’s easy to organize my house to support the things I want to do better. Can we organize our communities to support the things we want to do better? What would it look like for societal goals to be out in full sight — things like better foster care, clean water for remote communities, and decent jobs for everyone who wants to work — with immediate and practical actions right at hand?