Friday, December 02, 2011

Be Alert. Do it for YOU.

I was a little surprised that anyone wouldn't have already known this on their own.

Being alert and aware doesn't just protect you from bad guys and dangerous situations, it also allows you to notice the good stuff too.

I'm not always there, but I try. When my situational awareness slips, and then I snap back, I realize how much I have missed. Everything was gray and muffled, and once I start being aware again, the colors come flooding back.

I know a lot of people who stumble through life, noticing almost nothing. It shocks me how much they don't see. They don't know where their cell phone is, because, even though they are the one who laid it down and they have passed it repeatedly, they neither noticed placing it there, nor noticed it when they walked through the room. But outdoors this inconvenience becomes even more tragic. They don't see the animal tracks under their feel, nor the kestrel sailing overhead, nor the flower blooming in the shadow. They don't hear the prairie dog scolding them from a distance, or the sandhill cranes calling from high in the sky. They are missing out on life.

Let's face it- the lurking danger is pretty rare, but the beauty you could be enjoying is everywhere. Stay alert so you can enjoy your surroundings, and so that when the lurking danger does appear you will notice it before it becomes a problem.

It isn't an inconvenience or a burden to be alert. It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.



  1. right on point. like my gma always said, "to be aware is to be alive. now go fetch me an orange slice."

  2. I don't want to give an overly good impression of koans, but I found a good one:

    "Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal.

    Ryokan returned and caught him. “You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”

    The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

    Ryoken sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon.”"