Thursday 15 May 2014

Hominidic Awareness

"I see people."

I'm not talking about the phrase from Sixth Sense, "I see dead people".  I won't confirm or deny that statement.  I'm talking living people here.

"I see people."  Do you?

Likely your answer is, of course I do.  Unless you're living as a hermit, or working a night shift alone, of course.

"Of course I do."  Do you?

Do you really see people, or do you just notice they are there?  Do you even always notice they are there, or do you only notice some people, with others blending into the background of humanity, human habitat, and wild places?

"I see people."  Do you?

If you live in a city, a large town, or even some small towns, or ever visit this places, you have likely passed someone standing on a corner with a cardboard sign with something written on it.  Think back to the last such person you passed.  What did their sign say?  Do you remember?  Were they obviously male?  Obviously female?  Of indeterminate gender just looking without talking to them?  Did you notice?  Do you remember?  How were they dressed?  Do you remember?  What did they look like?  Do you remember?  Did you notice their eyes?  What colour were they?  Did they smile at you or frown?  Or even notice you?  Did you see them?  Did they see you?

"I see people."  Do you?

Have you ever been that person with a sign on the corner?  If you have, are often still are, what do you notice about those who pass by?  Who meets your eyes and who looks away?  Who seems happy and who seems sad?  Could you recall someone that had passed by and giving you something ten minutes before?  Someone who didn't give you anything?  Those who took notice of you?  Those who didn't?

"I see people."  Do you?

Do you drive a lot?  If you do, do you notice the people in the cars around you?  People walking or riding a bike along the road?  A minute later, can you count how many people walking or riding their bike you passed?  What they were wearing?  If they looked happy or sad?  If their heads were down or they were looking forward without noticing anything to the sides or if they were taking in everything around them?  Do you notice the driver beside you as stop lights?  A minute later, do you recall what they looked like?  What they were wearing?  If they looked happy or sad?  Did you even notice any of these people?  Did they notice you?

"I see people."  Do you?

Do you walk a lot?  If you do, do you notice the people around you, not just other walkers but the people in the cars passing or stopped?  A minute later, could you recognize them if they were no longer in their car?  Or even if they are?  Do you notice if they are happy or sad?  What they are wearing?  What they look like?  How about the same for walkers you pass going the opposite direction?  Or the same direction, or passing you going the same direction?  What do you notice about them?  Anything?  Everything?  What can you recall a minute later?

"I see people."  Do you?

Do you work in an office building?  In an office position or a service position?

If you work in an office position, meaning the building is what you work in, not your job itself, do you notice those who keep the building clean, who restock things, who work in the cafeteria or coffee shop or gym or as security if you have this things?  Do you hold doors open for them?  Thank them?  Say good morning or good afternoon?  Or do they blend into the background for you to the point you only notice them when something goes wrong?  Can you count from memory how many people serve these roles where you work?  Or how many you see in a day?  Do you know any of them by name?  Do they know yours?

If you work in a service job like the ones described above, do you notice those that just use the building or facilities but aren't the ones who care for them?  Or do they blend in as obstacles to your job?  Do you talk to them?  Do you know their names?  Do they know yours?

"I see people."  Do you?

All people who live and work and play where you do are part of the place you live in, your home, your Land.  Every one of them are a part of that whole, as much as the animals and plants and rocks and streams are.  You share habitat with them, as readily as a vole might share habitat with a rabbit, or with another vole.  Being aware of where you live isn't just about noticing the non-human aspects but the humans as well.  With awareness comes consciousness, with consciousness comes caring, with caring comes community.  And community is an important and needed things for humans, who are inherently social, even if the degree of need and tolerance vary.

"I see people."  Do you?  Do you notice those around you?  Do you interact with them?  It is important to develop hominidic awareness, not just awareness of the non-human portions of your environment.  Start paying attention to those around you and build your awareness today, and see how that changes how you live.

~Muninn's Kiss

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