Please feel free to read this blog and join in. I hope you will write something inspirational, inspiring, spiritual, controversial, amusing, engaging or just plain run of the mill. But please don't be brusque, churlish or licentious.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Attention cont'd

The power of attention can come in handy in certian situations. If you are sawing a piece of wood on a table saw, being attentive to the saw blade and the wood is important, but also to your hands and fingers as well as to anybody that happens to be around you. Your field of vision becomes wider, but you are still focused on the process of sawing. If your attention narrows too much and focuses only on the blade cutting through the board, you no longer notice your immediate surroundings or body. You have become absorbed in the sawing. Or worse yet, you could go into waking sleep. This could be dangerous and a serious accident could occur as a result.

Years ago when I was in high school, a friend of mine, Mark, who worked at the local lumbar yard, was sawing a pierce of wood on a band saw when he ran the blade between his fingers, through his hand and up to his wrist before he knew it. Mark had been sawing wood for most of the afternoon and lost his power of attention and went into absorption without realizing it. Fortunately, he did not lose his had, but he never regained full function of it.

Another very important situation that requires attention is driving an automobile. While driving you want to pay attention to the big picture: the road,the surroundings, the dials on the dashboard and what your body is doing, especially your hands. In the United States 50,000 people are killed on the highway every year. We have to be conscious of the act that we are zooming down the road in a 3,000 lb. machine going 70 MPH. This is not a computer game, this is for real. The U.S. government's highway safety agency released a study on April 20, 2006 involving 43,300 hours of data. The agency researched 100 vehicles in metropolitan Washington, D.C. for one year, tracking 241 drivers. Nearly eight out of 10 collisions involved the lack of attention from the driver just moments before impact. Many people just don't take driving a car seriously. They view commuting to and from work as an inconvenience and try to makeup for the time lost by doing other things such as putting on make-up, combing hair, talking on a cell phone, texting, receiving and answering e-mail, eating, selecting CDs to ut in the player and day dreaming. One woman was videoed "with her knees up on the steering wheel, sheet music in her lap playing the flute."

The fourth level of consciousness, awareness, will be the discussion for the next post. See you tomorrow.

No comments: