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Don't Be Oblivious


P.Jenkins 2018 November 14

     Have you ever experienced a situation, where you’re talking to a person and a third party arrives into your circle of conversation and just stands there? They don’t say anything. They just stand there waiting.

     Walk in awkward moment, right?

     Or maybe you have a co-worker who talks incessantly and doesn’t seem to notice that everyone around them is working or busy, or that the person they thought they were addressing, had put his or her headphones on.

     Then, there’s your roommate, who never fails to leave his dishes in the sink every morning, yet no matter how many friendly reminders he receives, you’re guaranteed it’ll be there the next day.

    Talk about inconsiderate.

     Why do I bring this up? And what does this have to do with health?


     Being considerate and aware of your surrounding demonstrates that you are a healthy individual. You recognize that the world doesn’t revolve around you.


     You are not the center, not even of your own world.


     It is true that we get distracted and leave things undone, but if other people have labelled you as “oblivious”, this should concern you.


     We are a communal people, we must develop healthy boundaries, as well as healthy awareness of what is going on not just immediately around us, but also in our society. This enables us to recognize strange occurrences easier and to avoid being oblivious.


     I recently attended a Human Trafficking Symposium and the presenter Opal Singleton, told a story about a father who had purchased her book Seduced. which discusses how victims are being lured through gaming.


     Apparently, this father's ten year old little girl snuck out of the house at 3am in the morning to meet a sixteen year old boy she met on Minecraft. Luckily, the father had heard her window shut. He ran out of the house jumped into his car and found his daughter walking three blocks down getting into a stranger's car.


     The father caught up to the car before the driver could get away. He ripped the perpetrator out of the car and knocked him out. Come to find out, it was a twenty-seven year old registered sex offender. 

      Back in 2016, a friend and I were out in Myeongdong, South Korea. It's known as the mecca for shopping and tourists. As we were walking down the main street, my eyes zoned in on a little girl walking alone in front of us. She must have been about ten years old. I informed my friend that I thought the little girl was lost. She wasn’t convinced, but I told her to stay behind just to be certain. Sure enough, the little girl looked frantic, as she scanned the crowd unable to see any familiar faces. I immediately stopped her.


      She wasn’t Korean, nor did she speak English. My friend went to search for help as I showed the little girl a series of flags on my phone trying to figure out which country she was from. It turns out she was Taiwanese and spoke Mandarin.


     After minutes of trying to communicate with her, while attempting to contact her parents, my friend returned with a tour guide. The little girl was obviously scared and hardly spoke. Suddenly these two Taiwanese tourists came to our rescue. They spoke to her and eventually got a hold of the little girl’s mother.

     According to the Taiwanese tourists, the mother had told the little girl to stay where she was, while the mother went shopping. Apparently, the mother had asked someone to take her to a specific store and couldn’t figure out her way back to her daughter. 


      Think of what the world would be like if there weren’t considerate and attentive parents? Let alone attentive strangers. What would have happened to these girls?


      Where could a deep meaningful conversation have gone had the extra ear not appeared?


      How much work could have been done, if the chatty co-worker actually did his job?


      What kind of environment and impression would that dirty roommate leave on others, had he cleaned up the mess around the house?


      The point is many of us walk around tuned out. We have no concept of what is happening around us, not just in public, but in our very homes. We don’t realize the unhealthy environment we create or encourage.


      Rather than being so focused on what you have going on, try to see how your actions or a lack thereof affect other people.


      Who knows what difference you might be able to make. 


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