When I was 16, I was over the moon excited about getting my driver’s license. I wanted it SO bad. When I was 9, I helped my brother study for his exam and I held onto his copy of the driver training booklet. Man, I read that thing so many times, I was pretty sure I had it memorized. I knew all the moves to parallel park, all the road signs at a glance, and how to safely pass a commercial vehicle. I knew which vehicle had the right of way at a 4-way stop, what to do when the traffic lights were out, and all the other stuff that little encyclopedia of driving wisdom had to share.
But I wasn’t prepared when Dad invited me out to drive.
“What? Me? On the road? But Dad, I don’t have my license yet! I don’t have my learner’s permit yet! That would be breaking the law! I don’t think I could DO that! I don’t think I’m ready for that.”
And he never asked me again, even after I got my permit. The next year, he asked my sister, and she jumped at the chance to hop in the car with Dad and tool around town. I was hurt, angry, and didn’t understand why Dad had passed me over like that in favor of my sister. Couldn’t he see I was ready now? Couldn’t he see that I had more experience, more skill at driving than she did? Why was SHE getting the invite, but I wasn’t?
That was one of my earliest experiences with the Passed Over Paradox. Only, I didn’t know it yet. Let me break this down so you can see what was really going on here.
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