The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — It is just plain scary how much of our day is spent with our eyes closed.
What are some of the reasons we close our eyes during the day?
Let’s look at praying. Go into any church, temple or masque and check out the faces of the congregation. The people who at least appear to be praying rather than thinking about how quickly they will be able to get out of the parking lot, have their eyes closed. Perhaps by closing our eyes we block the distractions around us.
Your immediate response may be that there are no distractions in a house of worship. If you believe that, then you must have closed your eyes the moment you walked in. What would you call restless and noisy children? Calming? Conducive to prayer? Think again. By their very existence urchins taken to a solemn ceremony tend to act out and inspire visions of dumping water on their sweet little heads to shock them into silence.
How about the nuzzling couple sitting next to you? Besides hissing at them to take it outside to their car, their antics do not inspire holy thoughts. Of course, if you happen to be a eunuch, the couple may not distract you from your prayers. But just because parts are missing, the interest is probably still there.
The various stages of dress or lack thereof can also distract a person from prayer. Either your response is that of a thin-lipped prude or a fashionista. The condemnation in the prude’s mind and eyes will likely lead that supposedly holy person down a path that is not soul-healthy.
Then again, if the sight before you is a sea of shoe soles and protruding behinds, it is advisable to close your eyes and hope those folks do not suffer from severe gas during the service.
If you prefer to pray in your car while commuting, do you close your eyes? Just asking.
People do cry with their eyes open, but if the emotion is too great, the weeper may wish to shut out the world. However, if you weep when something touching occurs, you too may close your eyes to savor the moment.
Moving along, why do we clamp our eyes shut when we sneeze? It is an involuntary reflex similar to when the doctor taps your knee with that mini tomahawk hammer. If the doctor suddenly finds himself across the room and on his butt, then your reflexes are good.
Granted, it is difficult to keep your eyes open during a sneeze. Mind you, it is possible, but you really have to concentrate to keep those peepers open. Since sneezing is a way for the body to expel nasties from the nasal passages, some speculate that your eyes close to keep the gunk from flying into them. But unless gale force winds are blowing in your face, the expelled gooey nasal content is not going to come to a screeching halt, make a U-turn and fly into your eyes.
Now when it comes to kissing, some people keep their eyes open while others close them. Swept away by the passion a kiss can evoke, the world disappears and your eyes tend to flutter shut. Of course, if you have trust issues concerning the person with whom you have locked lips, you may want to keep your eyes open. Otherwise, he or she may steal your wallet.
Our discussion cannot omit all the blinking we do. Opinions vary on the estimated number of times a person blinks per minute. The number ranges between 16 to 30 times per minute. So, if you are awake 16 hours a day that equals 15360 blinks per day and 5,606,400 per year.
Taking into account the foregoing and how often our eyes are closed during the day, we are either brave or insane to drive a car or handle sharp objects.
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