Critical Thinking Fail: Value of Toothpaste Over Life

Today’s Critical Thinking Fail moment is quite disturbing.  What is the average cost of toothpaste these days?  Four dollars?  Maybe $6 for the fancier brands?  Would you say your life is worth more than $4-$6?

Sadly, 36- year old Anthony Kyser gambled his life on a $4 tube of toothpaste and lost.

When an employee of the drug store saw Mr. Kyser stuff tubes of toothpaste in his jacket and attempt to leave, he took the matter into his own hands.   He and several other witnesses wrestled Mr. Kyser to the ground and held him in a choke hold while waiting for police to arrive.  Despite his pleas that he couldn’t breathe, they kept their hold on him.  He passed away 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital.

Perhaps, Mr. Kyser assumed no one would try to stop him from stealing such an inexpensive product.  That assumption proved fatal for him.

We all risk our lives on a daily basis.  When was the last time you drove faster than the speed limit?  Have you ever placed a phone call while driving?  Worse yet, have you read or responded to a text/email while driving?  Are those choices truly any different than those of Mr. Kyser?  When we take risks with our lives, we assume we will avoid any negative consequences.  The tragedy of Mr. Kyser reminds us that simply is not true.

We must all evaluate the value of our lives in comparison to the seemingly insignificant choices we make every day.

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Editor’s Note: Breanne Harris is the Solutions Architect for Pearson TalentLens.  She works with customers to design selection and development plans that incorporate critical thinking assessments and training.  She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and has experience in recruiting, training, and HR consulting.  She is the chief blogger for Critical Thinkers and occasionally posts at ThinkWatson.  Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter for more of her thoughts.

2 responses to “Critical Thinking Fail: Value of Toothpaste Over Life”

  1. chadfife

    I actually thought the critical thinking fail moment was the drug store employee putting a choke hold on the guy when he wasn’t a dangerous threat.

  2. Breanne Potter

    @Chad- yes, that was also a critical thinking fail. Similarly, it is reported that the officer who first responded to the scene brandished her gun at Mr. Kyser as he was being choked by the drug store employee and 3 other men. She also reportedly returned to her car to make a phone call while Mr. Kyser continued his struggle to breathe.

    In each instance, the choices were made without giving thought to the potential consequences of the actions. Very sad.

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