Somebody Else Is Always Watching · 28 October 2017

I know that Big Brother and Big Business are always watching me, but there are others who always watch me too. My children.

If you have kids, you know that they may or may not listen to you. Ever. And yet, they end up just like you whether you want them to or not. That is because, while it may not seem like they are listening, they are. And more importantly, they are watching.

Like Sting sang with The Police:

Every breath you take.
Every move you make.
Every bond you break.
Every step you take.

Those darn kids are watching you. Watching you. Watching you.

(Thankfully, the kids watching is not quite as creepy as the old song by The Police.)

People have always talked about other watching. Besides books and music about watching, I remember that old anti-smoking commercial from the seventies. The kid follows the dad around doing everything he does. Skipping rocks on the pond, doing jumping jacks, playing video games, and lighting up a cigarette at the end. (I do not remember anything they did except skipping rocks at the beginning and lighting up at the end, but that is the point anyway. Right?) The kid does not really light up, but pretends to. The commercial just had some cheesy music until the end when the narrator says, “It’s a matter of life and breath. Think about it.” Or something like that. Like I said, I remember the punch line. And so does every parent or kid who watched that commercial.

That commercial or public service announcement or whatever it was called back then was only one reason I do not smoke cigarettes or cigars or anything of the kind (the other reasons are many, but that is another story), but it was a factor. Rather, the point was the factor. I was watching my dad and mom and other important adults in my life. Just like my kids are watching me and my wife and other important adults in their lives. I wanted to do some of the things they did, I did not want to do other things.

When it comes right down to it, I am not sure which is a scarier thought. That Big Brother and Big Business are watching me or that my kids are watching me. Actually, it is not even close. While I do not like the fact that those two Big entities are always watching me, I am terrified by the fact that my kids are always watching me. Even though they are not always around me anymore, I know they are watching. They are just waiting for my actions to be contrary to my words. They are waiting for me to slip up. When they were little, they just watched and copied me. They saw my priorities and loyalties. They heard my words even when it appeared they were not listening. The trouble is that even now they still see. They still watch. They still hear. And I wonder what bad habits of mine they will take up or have already taken up.

It is just a matter of time before they are like me in some ways. Oh the horror.

Well, if you were not paranoid after thinking about Big Brother and Big Business watching you, maybe you will be now. Those kids you have wandering around the house (or who are even out of the house) are watching your every move. And one day, when they do something annoying and you lash out at them, they will just point back to you and say, “But you do…” whatever annoying thing it is that you do. And all you will be able to do is take the backlash. All you will be able to do is curse the writers and singers who told you to beware.

Because you know. Every move you make. Every breath you take. Somebody is always watching. And now you know who.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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