The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SIXTY THREE: BEING SELF-AWARE
Humans aren’t machines. We feel, we love, we cry, we despair, and we rejoice. Anyone who’s ever tried to convince me not to feel is someone I shouldn’t have trusted. The only reason you should shut off your emotions and emulate a robot is if you’re doing horrible things. – BRUCE CROWN, Forlorn Passions
I have been thinking about this for a few months now. Maybe it’s because of experience as I get older and spend more time thinking and pondering and debating inside my own head. I watch the TV and see how people interact in the world and have finally started to use the logic inside my own noggin.
Let me start with a question for you.
Have you ever got so angry that you punched a wall?
Have you ever got so upset with someone, you thought about killing them right on the spot?
Have you ever go so sad that the idea of leaving the world behind suddenly becomes a possible solution?
I have ever become so overwhelmed with things in your life that you thought about going out to your local train yard or railroad and wanted to jump a train, any train, and say adios to your life?
Yes? No? Some?
I am guilty of all of those. I mean, where do you think I pulled them from?
I have got so wrapped up with what was going on that I forgot myself. I have forgotten my knowledge that I have acquired from past experiences. And I have lost myself in the whitewater turmoil of the moment.
In those moments, I had lost my own self-awareness.
What is self-awareness? The Merriam-Webster definition is as follows: an awareness of one’s own personality or individuality. The English Language Learners definition of self-awareness is knowledge and awareness of your own personality or character.
It’s what separates us from the robots. For a while, anyway.
If robots had actually artificial intelligence, they would be self-aware. They would know they were creations, either built by humans or some sort of robot used manufacturing facility where robots produced other robots. They would have love and hate and feelings that spanned the gambit. They would be, basically, human. They would understand the consequences of their actions, good or ill, and weight each activity or response before acting.
Which is what better than I can say for myself. Or others.
Here recently, I have told others to be more self-aware in their moments of hesitation or confusion. I based this on my own conclusions based on past experiences when I should have taken a step back and saw the forest for the trees.
Sometimes, we tend to look at things under a microscope when we should use a telescope. It’s like when I need to put on my reading glasses to read some small print but I squint and pull whatever I’m trying to read further away from my eyes until I can.
You should allow yourself to be self-aware. Instead of just making a half-thought out decisions based on knee jerk feeling you’re having at the time, you need to take a breath and step back and look at it again. And think about what to do. And I mean, really think about it. You have to do the right things and sometimes your future hangs in the balance or in the very least, a lot of wasted time you will never get back.
Look at yourself. Look at your actions and ask yourself if they were done without thinking. Yeah, sometimes we get lucky and the clock is right twice a day even if it’s broken. But, honestly, and let’s be truly honest here, those moments of luck don’t happen all that often. They’re nice when we do and we can wipe the sweat from our brow and go ‘Whew’.
No. Most of the time we are left in a lurch because of some misspoken word or action.
So, back to robots.
I see others acting more and more like them. They use some sort of ignorant programming that was uploaded to their mainframes by other people (parents, ‘trusted’ friends, TV, movies, etc.) that are really virus filled and they take that as gospel without stepping back and running this information through an antivirus program. They accept it and hit the button that says ‘Trusted Program’ and let it all kinds of damage until it’s too late and then CRASH goes the system.
Being self-aware is what makes it possible to be understanding, forgiving, and caring, but it also helps us know when we need to stand up for ourselves and not allow an injustice to continue. Being self-aware allows us to be more balanced and focused.
But it can be hard to do. Oh, yeah. There are times when it feels downright impossible. You make somebody you love upset or angry. You might even push people you cared for out of your life, never to be seen again except for a glimpse of them walking to their car in a parking lot and you want to catch up to them and say ‘Hello’ or something they post on social media and was shared by a friend you share with them. Your fingers twitch over the keys to hit LIKE or give a little comment.
Though in your heart of hearts, you know what you said was right and you know that if they were a better friend to you, they would use their own self-awareness.
You have to do what’s right for you.
Well, it’s time to stop being robots. Become self-aware. Step back from yourself and stop yourself from hitting the wall, killing somebody, try and be happier, and don’t jump that train and leave your life.
It’s YOUR life.
-Loyd Elmore Jr.
November 29th, 2019
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.