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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Who is Watching You? Is it Necessary?


Recently, my gym of the last 10 years closed down. This hit many of us pretty hard because our gym was an independent operation and many members had been there for over 20 years. Carl and Bob Medina owned Medina’s Gym for almost 30 years.

It was very much what you would call a family atmosphere.

Fitness, bodybuilding and weight training was Carl’s passion.  He was the guy who’d walk around the gym, offering advice both solicited and unsolicited. He also made sure his gym was ship-shape. If you left a weight on the bench, you’d hear about it.

Unfortunately, Carl Medina died in September of 2008 and Bob’s grandson was brought in to man the front desk during the weekday evenings and during the day on weekends.  Suffice it to say that fitness and weight training was not the passion of the younger Medina.  He was more into computer games.

During the period of time between Carl’s death and the eventual closing of the gym, a curious thing happened.  Without Carl around a number of gym members became slack in their behavior.  You would start to see equipment being left on benches, plates left on machines, etc. conditions that Carl never would have tolerated.

This reminded me of a recurring story about doctors and hand washing. It seems that when cameras were monitoring doctors behavior, they would wash their hands much more often than when no one was watching.

I mean if there is anyone who should recognize the benefits of washing their hands and maintaining a sanitary environment you’d think it would be doctors, right?

I was talking with one of my friends and she mentioned that you really find out about a person’s character by how they behave when no one is watching.  Why is that? I mean we all want things to work well, and it should be pretty much common sense that we all play a role in making that happen. So why is it necessary for adults to baby-sit other adults?

I guess that’s why we need business regulation. Left to our own devices we’d most likely destroy each other. Is this right?

Do you believe that it’s necessary for us to monitor each other or even better, why do so many of us tend to ‘back-slide’ when no one is keeping an eye on us?


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