Are you aware?

January 22, 2022

I am inspired today to ask the question above by a quote that I’ve been saving for some time – “Let us not go back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.” (James Thurber)

It seems to me that way too many people are spending their time being angry about things that have already happened and which are in the past or they are fearful of the future without just cause. Perhaps they have based where they are going upon something that they saw on the Internet or something that they heard from someone else. If, in either case, they did not take the time to become aware of the source and veracity of that “information”, then they may be headed off in fear or anger in the wrong direction.

What does awareness mean? I think it at least means that one takes the time to think about and question things that they hear, see, or read before accepting them and acting upon them. We all need to ask questions like, “What is the source of this information?” or “What proof is there that this information is correct and accurate?” The phrase, “I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true” is both laughable and yet prevalent in today’s world of misinformation, conspiracy theories and outright lies.

Unfortunately, the source that most use for their news and information about what is happening in the world is also the biggest source of bad information – the Internet.  It’s a shame is that so much of that bad information is purposely planted there by people to cause the resulting confusion or anger or both. The real shame is that it works all too often.

The second major source of bad or suspect information is politically biased coverage on so-called news shows. The influence of the political views of both the right and left are evident in the choice of words that both sides use in their newscasts to re[port on events. Awareness of that bias towards either side will help one correctly assess the news content from the political views of the presenters. The weather portion of the news shows is about the only part that has not been highly politicized, except for comments sometimes thrown in on global warming.

So, approach each new day with an open but questioning mind and awareness that you need to evaluate everything that you hear, see, or read before allowing it to influence your reaction or direction. Instead of starting a conversation with the phrase “everyone knows”; start the conversation with, “here’s what I believe”, because you have taken the time to evaluate things and to form your own opinion. Just being in a state of mind to question and evaluate first will make you a more aware person and probably a more interesting one, too.

Go around in awareness.