I can remember a couple times where cognitive dissonance may have changed my beliefs. I believe it happens more than people think. I experienced cognitive dissonance when I first started weed whacking my home when I was a freshman in high school.
I refused to use safety glasses or goggles when I first weed whacked. I didn’t enjoy wearing any protection because I wasn’t used to wearing glasses. They always felt weird on my face. They always fogged up or impaired my vision from sweating on hot summer days. I didn’t wear ear protection either because earbuds become uncomfortable after sweating and I’d rather be able to hear when my weed whacker when the gas tank was approaching empty. I knew it was a safety hazard but I believed if I always whacked the weeds at a certain angle, projectiles would never hit me in the face s0 I would never need to use safety glasses. I continued this behavior for a few years.
My beliefs completely changed I got my first job as a groundskeeper at a local country club. My first day, I walked into the groundskeepers’ quarters. I noticed a man wearing an eye patch. Instead of being awkward and staring at it for the whole summer, I asked my older coworker what happened to his eye.
He said he was weed whacking around the boundaries of the country club. He wasn’t wearing any eye or ear protection. He ended hit a piece of rusted metal from a barb wire fence which removed years beforehand. This piece of metal went straight through his cornea and blinded him in his left eye for life.
He was unable to make to any sort of lawsuit or receive any compensation for the accident. This was because he removed his eye protection. He also seemed part deaf. It was probably from working around loud equipment for so long.
After talking to him, I always wear eye, and ear protection when weed whacking and working with loud equipment at all times. I even wear jeans and sometimes sleeves when weed whacking now.
Another instance which reinforced my neediness for eye protection is from a story my dad told me. He nearly blew my mind when he said he was welding an exhaust pipe without eye protection. I could see people not use eye protection while weed whacking but I could never fathom someone welding without a welders mask. My dad ended up having a liquid hot piece of metal fall off the exhaust pipe and hit him in the eye. He went to the emergency room even though he thought the debris was out of his eye.
The doctors told him the aluminum was so hot it was in liquid form. The reason why he thought it was gone because the metal melted into his eye. He vision in that eye was bad at first and he recovered. However, he will never be able to see out as well out his right eye again because the metal is still there. He can’t go through an MRI machine because the magnetism involved with the machine would cause the metal to erupt out of his eye.
After hearing those 2 stories from 2 different people and from hearing absolute horror stories from safety meetings, I will never hesitate to use eye protection for any semi-hazardous job I’ll have.
These 2 instances were very rare and serious but I would never want something similar to those 2 occurrences to happen to me. I rely heavily on my eyesight and hearing to play Call of Duty at a professional level so I would never jeopardize my hobby and possibly a career because I didn’t use proper safety precautions to do landscaping work.