According to the US Coast Guard, “Situational Awareness is the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team with regards to the mission. More simply, it’s knowing what is going on around you.”
To bring that down to a personal level, your mission, as you interact with others out in the world each day, is to stay safe and possibly even to help others do the same. In order to do that, however, you must be aware of what is going on around you; and that becomes increasingly difficult to do as we allow our electronic devices and other distractions to demand so much of our attention.
More and more, I see people walking, and even driving, without having a clue what is going on around them, because they are either talking on the phone, texting, checking email, or scrolling through their online music library. Should a bad situation happen to, or near, these folks, their reaction time would likely be much too long to prevent damage to themselves or someone else.
No one wants to go through their day-to-day life in a state of paranoia, always looking over their shoulder for the bad guy – but that’s not what is being suggested here. What is being suggested is that we put away the distracting devices as we go about our day, engage in the present, and be more aware of our surroundings.
And truthfully, by doing that, we are not only more aware of potentially harmful situations, we are also more aware of the beautiful cloud formations in the sky, the colorful flowers that were just planted at the store entrance, or maybe even the woman next to us at the bus stop that has on a lovely blouse and really needs to hear an encouraging word.
What will you notice in your world today?
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