In our last blog post we introduced the concept of awareness and self-awareness.
It is the ability to think about one’s own thinking as well as stand back from oneself and reflect on who one is and one’s behaviour.
We talked about how this is a uniquely human skill that is the reason why we are able to achieve and do so much in the world.
The next step from awareness is, I think, to ask questions. Often questions no one else is asking. And then being aware as to where the question takes you.
The scientific world abounds with examples:
- Penicillin was discovered when a scientist noticed mould on the side of a Petri dish after a long weekend and wondered what that was about.
- Viagra was a cardiac drug that failed and someone wondered why!
- The microwave was invented shortly after someone became aware of a chocolate bar slowly melting when it was too close to a radar screen and questioned why.
Some personal examples:
In my early 20s I became aware of the kindness of a certain girl who offered an ice cream to me, a lonely boy far away from home. It gave me a window into her heart and the rest they say is history! But I wouldn’t necessarily advise marrying someone who offers to buy your ice cream!
More seriously I mentioned in my previous post on awareness about the apparent curse of being aware of my lack of a place to call home, being neither settled in India or Britain. Then in the autumn of 1984 I read for the first time in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 of various prophets from the past who had struggled in various ways. From verse 13:
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead they were looking for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
I look back to that time when I first read those words as the time when my awareness of my identity went from being a curse to a huge blessing.
So how about you?
What questions, thought comments and ideas come to mind – to your awareness as you read this?
Please leave your comments below.