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What is the best piece of advice you could give someone about life?

Needs to pay more attention. These five words were mentioned on every one of my report cards from school as a young boy. My father was rightly concerned about this matter and would often ask, “Do I need to put a boot up your ass for you to pay attention?” Now common sense says that is physically impossible, but nevertheless, I did start to learn to be more attentive of my surroundings.

It’s tough to pay constant attention to our environment and sometimes life throws a curve ball we are not expecting. For example, years ago as a paramedic I responded to an emergency call one early morning for an explosion. Even for the roughest gun and knife neighborhoods in Kansas City, Missouri this was an unusual call. Here is what happened.

A young boy about 9-years old was walking to school and paying attention to the traffic just like his mother told him to do every day. He later told us, “I was walking to school and then boom, I was up in the air.” Apparently a manhole cover in the street had to much methane gas below which exploded just as the patient stepped on it. Luckily, the young boy only suffered some abrasions and minor cuts. Like I stated earlier, it is tough to pay attention to everything.

Obviously, the frog shown below was not paying attention or the snake was paying more attention. This happened yesterday right outside The Library as I was enjoying a coffee and perusing the Net. From start to finish the whole meal took about an hour.

Thailand has some of the most dangerous roads in the World. People get slaughtered here on a daily basis and one of the main reasons is simple. Both the drivers and pedestrians simply do not pay attention. A friend of ours was killed a few years back by simply not looking where he was going. This devoted husband and father of a young girl tried to cross a busy Bangkok street without looking and was hit by a city bus that was traveling too fast.

The Tokay Gecko pictured below was also not paying attention. But, I’m glad I was as this struggle occurred under our The Pavilion early one morning during a coffee run.

The reptile who was paying attention is called a Golden Tree snake. It is a pretty common snake that can be found from the jungles to the inner city areas of Bangkok. Their main diet is rodents, geckos and other lizards. I usually see them during the day and believe me, they are very fast and can climb walls. My old teachers would be glad to hear that I learned how to pay attention, especially in regards to the snakes in Thailand.

Shown below is one of our workers cooking up a rather pungent snake stew for dinner. She was paying attention to her surroundings earlier that morning and had spotted the delicacy. Needless to say, this snake was not paying attention…

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