You can’t help but notice
You’re driving in traffic, then you stop at a stop light.
As cars going other directions pass by you, people actually turn their heads a bit to keep looking at you. I suppose we all do this.
I wonder about what I’ve seen in these split seconds seeing a face or a look. I glimpse into all these different people’s lives as they turn the pages for me in a drive-by.
There is information available about a person at first sight. It may be wrong or accurate, you don’t know, but it gives you a first thought.
You start with thoughts on them but quickly it turns to what you think. You get into your opinions and either reinforce or refute what went through your head.
I’m not saying to judge it
We look, we become aware of it. We think about it.
Noticing is not judging.
Bringing up an opinion you have for consideration is not judging either.
There is a distinction.
It’s open for information.
Judging is placing your opinion on someone else.
Having a closely held opinion or belief is a personal decision that you alone can mold, whereas judging is insisting that your values be in place in others lives – dangerous territory.
This is separate from laws under which we all maintain civility, mind you.
We take in what we see everywhere we go.
Noticing is step one, judging is step four.
Is this why people shop where they do – aligning with a particular store over a competitor, because “my kind of people” shop there?
The same with brands we use.
Are we making evaluations of our associations in the marketplace over other reasons?
I propose that we are more often than we think.
There are several factors but many will pay more to shop at one store simply because they want to be seen there and not seen at the other store.
Does this approach carry into other areas of relationships?
This creeps into judgement territory.
Fitting in is a double-edged sword that extends beyond high school.
Aside from the moral complications, it’s too much drama that’s allowed in.
I want to be active in the first three steps but I don’t want to live in step four.
I do the same thing at Wal-Mart that I do when the car passes me or when I’m stopped at an intersection – I look, I probably turn my head a little, sometimes I just say wow.
Saying wow is step three. If it becomes step four, its time to back up.
Step 1 – Notice
Step 2 – Process what information we have.
Step 3 – Consider your opinions, shape them into beliefs.
Step 4 – Judging
ooh, squirrel! – there’s something else to notice.
Observance of Trendlines
When you observe what’s happening, there are clues to notice.
Those clues can lead to some perception bringing insight.
If you draw the line in the direction you see happening,
the perception most often leads to a logical conclusion not far off of that line.
It’s good to have an open mind and not to be judgmental before you know facts. It’s also good to make yourself aware of what you see playing out.
Prepare yourself with insight
you may not want to acknowledge
Let’s look at your career or another aspect of your life.
Would you draw a graph line over time in the up or down direction about it? How steep is that line? Is it more straight as a trend line or jagged, moving up and then down? Is it flatlining?
The point is to observe a trend as it has played out over time.
Remembering what you thought was going to happen and then getting a result brings you the experience of noticing your thoughts as they actually played out. You begin to qualify what grabs your attention and learn to trust your instincts.
People are not as good at hiding their thoughts as they think. They can’t hide feelings, especially if they haven’t done any introspection and are thus unaware of them.
There are always tells to notice.
Being observant is a generous act
Being observant is generous because it involves a connection to others for people to benefit from. That generosity is available to those who pick up on and acknowledge the information itself. Generous just as the person holding the flashlight in a dark room is, exposing perceptions of a world around them to light.
Observance attempts communication with people who don’t realize they are communicating with you.
It tells you what words cannot. It reveals a perception which is probably truth.
We are always communicating – sending signal.
We are not always listening. Listening is generous.
Listening and observing are receiving signal. That’s the part of communication most are missing. Modern culture is so taken with sending.
It can certainly help you on your path, giving you more information with which to decide. If handled with kindness, it is a chance at a deeper level of connection.
Verbal communication that can come from observation is a deeper level of life sharing.
Open your eyes, ears, mind and heart.
There’s signal out there waiting to be processed.
Your kindness will be noticed.
I notice the things people say
It started when I was young.
I learned words.
But then I learned to listen.
For many years now, and I mean many, whenever I hear two was-es back to back I have to repeat it.
Let me explain.
Someone says something like “no, see what it was, was a chicken dressed like a…” – whatever.
So I hear that and quietly go – “was was” to myself. It sounds more like wuz wuz – a noise instead of a word.
It started out as funny, noticing when it happened. Now it happens in batches and I haven’t broken my string.
Sometimes it happens in situations where it’s inappro-pro to repeat it. I’d be dismissed as the goofball who says things like was-was or inappro-pro. So I do it quietly, make a game out of it. I have to think about how can I say it without having someone call it out in those cases requiring decorum.
Whenever I do break it, it will have been fun but it will have been pointless over a number of years.
I may have just uncovered my epitaph.
Here lies Dr. Bunk – it was was a long and pointless run.