Thursday, 16 November 2017

Have You Ever Noticed? — Situational Awareness and Street-Smartness Examples

Have you ever noticed something then wondered if others could notice it as well? That something is not that obvious such as the weather change. But rather, it is an insight gained from observing certain patterns, usually over a period of time, which you have probably never worded before. On rare occasions perhaps no one has ever did. 

I often wonder about all sorts of matters, then write them down. Interestingly, since I began sharing those kinds of thoughts I found that Im certainly not alone. So I’m sharing even more.

Conventional wisdom tells us that some people
s awareness level is higher than others. Think of 007 and Jason Bourne as examples. Also George Carlin and Jerry Seinfeld who are capable of writing a whole sketch about a five-second encounter. Whether they were born with that exquisite attention to details, or they developed it later, or — most likely — a mixture of both is a whole different question.

Said high awareness allows one to not only notice things which others usually don’t, but also who notices first, last, and who doesn’t notice.

Before I share some of my personal Have You Ever Noticed questions, let us first review a couple of related terms to get a more thorough understanding.  

The first is Situational Awareness. Situational Awareness or Situation Awareness (SA) involves our ability to identify, process, and comprehend information which is constantly flowing in. It is defined as the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, like as a predetermined event.

In less technical terms, situational awareness is
paying attention to what is going on around you; by scanning the surrounding environment, spotting any anomalies — danger, challenges and opportunities — while making detailed assessments.

Not just that, but situational awareness also entails performing all the above while
maintaining the ability to conduct normal activities. So the essence is to pay attention to the surroundings while not appearing to be paying attention. If I allow myself to reduce SA to a single word, the closest would be is Mindfulness.

On a parallel note, the second more colloquial word that comes to mind when pondering such topic is
Street-Smart. You see, being street-smart means being savvy and experienced; it is someone who has a certain kind of intelligence that enables them to learn from trial and error. And situational awareness is gained from experience. It is the wisdom and the needed skills to survive in the real world, rather than, conversely, following more abstract knowledge which is largely based on the experiences of others — such as book-smart.

Sometimes, though, one kind of ‘intelligence’ can induce the other and a certain balance is manifested. Being “world-smart” as well as “word-smart” would then lead to astounding achievements.

All that said, observation is one great one to learn. Because it is through which we see patterns, which are the real guru. I have written and shared the following everyday observational questions over the course of the past several years. Now I gathered ten of them herein. You will notice that most of the answers are rarely ever simple, and that is why they pique my interest and tickle my juices.

In addition, the answers received from readers can be equally illuminating. Oftentimes they may lead to even more questions and answers. So feel free to add your own in the comments.

Now let us ponder on and on.

1- Have you ever wondered what makes us uncomfortable to walk, jog, or drive next to strangers who are going at the same pace, that we either have to slow down or speed up?

2- Have you ever noticed how when we trip, slip, or lose our balance in public we always turn around and look at the ground as if we’re blaming it for our quirkiness? It’s like we cannot believe we could do this to ourselves.

3- Have you ever noticed how dogs, and cats, who attentively watch you eat — hoping that you share with them — are often tricked by thinking that whatever food falls down from your mouth or spoon or fork into your plate can be retrieved by looking on the floor underneath the table? Who knows, perhaps it’s part of their body language and they do it on purpose to show you that they actually want to eat from the food.

4- Have you ever thought of the tie as a phallic symbol and accessory used to point to the man’s ‘brain’ and draw attention to it? No, well you can start as of… now.

5- Have you ever wondered why by the end of every year many people always love saying that this has been “the worst” year due to some deaths or catastrophes or whatever? It seems like they forget that every year there will be deaths and catastrophes and whatevers, as well as fun and happiness and good things. That’s how life is. Looking at the brighter side of existence is a choice. As simple as that.

6- Have you ever been tempted to cordially congratulate a woman for pregnancy but didn’t do it because you were reluctant that it might just be her belly? Say the truth.


7- Have you ever noticed how dogs, and cats, casually stretch their bodies whenever you catch them stalking you, while eating of example? We humans actually do the same.

On a similar note, cats sometimes sneakingly stretch when they really like you and want to come closer so you can pet them, yet they still want to look as if they can keep their cool around you. Apparently there is name for that specific body language and it’s called a “Greeting Stretch”, which is a posture used only towards someone the pet likes and with whom they are comfortable. I believe in some cases it is deliberately done to show you that comfort, perhaps to pet them or just as a way to express their love.

8- Have you ever noticed how die-hard fanatics of a certain sport rarely ever know how to play the sport themselves? And I mean those who overidentify with the team and lose themselves in the hyper-masculine culture surrounding many sports nowadays. 

The ones who do play can also be fans, but usually they are not the overly emotional or aggressive type. I think it’s because they have a better understanding of how playing really is.

9- Have you ever noticed that when two people are walking or jogging towards each other in a narrow path or passage they feel sort of obliged to synchronise their eye contact? It cannot happen too soon since it will get awkward by the time they approach and acknowledge each other — if it does happen. So what some people do is reduce that time by turning their head away for a moment or two, then as they get closer to the other person they look straight again before smiling or nodding. Yes. Someone has to put this everyday nothingness into words and I humbly volunteered. 

10- Have you ever noticed how some older folks end their Facebook comment and messages with a signature? “Beautiful picture. Aunt Dolores.” Omar Cherif.


Dealing with High Awareness and Empathic Accuracy

Things I Got Rid Of To Become Happier
Who Are We?

My Journey Towards Self-Transcendence
The Parable Of The Cow

What Is Overcompensation?

What Being Conscious Means

The Significance of Letting Go

Change Is The Only Constant 

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