What is awareness?
Awareness is the ability to derive an explanation about something beyond the surface of understanding.
What do I mean? Let’s talk about jealousy.
Last night I went to IHOP for dinner. Yep, dinner. The guy who was practically running the show (host, server, busser) was in a great mood and really talkative as I walked up to pay. He was having a conversation with one of the cooks about jealousy and how he couldn’t understand why he considered himself to be “the shit” and have all this confidence but still gets very jealous. So, as I’m paying my check, he asked me if I get jealous. I was a little hesitant to answer him just because I just knew I’d confuse the shit out of him with my answer and not because it was some random question I’m sure most people would take offense to. I did decide to answer just to see how he’d respond and he responded just the way I thought.
I replied, “Of course I get jealous, because if I was never jealous, I wouldn’t be human. It’s a matter of how you balance your jealousy.”
His response was priceless. He went from really talkative and confident to really quiet and confused. After a few seconds he asked me what I meant, then asked me what I do for a living.
I just told him that jealousy is a natural human emotion and to not have even just a little bit of it, would make me unhuman. As humans, we are housed with all sorts of emotions because we are mortal and survival depends on our emotions and how well we balance them with our ego. The more untamed your ego is, the more jealous you become as well. This is what separates us from artificial intelligence as their ego always coincides with emotion because that’s the ultimate goal of every human. They have it easy. But as humans, we cannot obtain that ultimate goal so easily as life is all about constantly putting in the work towards learning how to balance your ego with your emotions.
Then I proceeded to leave by telling him that I confuse people for a living. Boy was he confused when I left.
Was my ego lit from that explanation? Nah.
He asked me a question in which most people would respond with either no or yes because of their surface understanding of the word jealousy and the negative connotations that are attached to it. My response wasn’t just based on philosophical principles, it was also logical, based on the awareness of human emotions and I wanted to share that with him.
The problem with awareness in this case is the fact that I see jealousy as something more than being a negative emotion. I see it beyond the surface as an emotion that helps us to evolve when balanced correctly and also an emotion that emphasizes the beauty of being a human. However, I cannot emphasize that awareness to most people because they do not understand due to lack of awareness and, therefore, would consider me “too deep” and confusing.
All people see is just a dull thought of how jealousy is “bad” because it’s an easy and simplified way to understand something without much brain activity. End of story. And because more people are unaware than aware, and majority rules, the aware ones are considered outliers, weird and awkward. Well, how else are we supposed to communicate with you to where you can understand? Annoyance level 100.
However, to be truly aware is to acknowledge that our annoyance stems from our own lack of awareness of understanding that most people don’t know any better and we can’t blame them. It simply isn’t their fault. That’s where learning to balance compassion comes in and this is something I do struggle with.
Becoming more aware is trying to balance your compassion level with your annoyance level. It’s not easy and, like I’ve mentioned before, is a continuing process but continuous effort does need to happen. You want to be compassionate and understanding of the unintended and restricted thought process of most people but know there’s more to life than superficial conversations and surface level small talk.
So what do you do? It’s a battle and definitely a challenge that comes with becoming aware. However, I feel more people are becoming aware so the annoyance level should pipe down to a minimum at some point.
What do you think? Do you consider yourself to think beyond the surface of most things in life? I’m curious.