Being a new dad has lead me to codify something that I have been practicing and preaching for a long time. 360° Awareness.
I have seen plenty of time when my 14-year old brother-in-law is walking through a store, paying little mind to the goings on around him. Standing in the middle of an aisle, blocking someone who is behind him or reaching for something not realizing that his reach would cross the view or reach of someone else.
Part of the issue is that he is fourteen and I can forgive him for that. The other part is that he doesn’t have 360° awareness.
I have found that this lack of awareness is limited notd to my brother-in-law, but teens and adults of all ages. It is not a bad thing, but boils down to a lack of common courtesy. Not being aware of the people and happenings around you, shows you are disconnected from what is actually going on.
In a crowd, I am shocked by the number of times a person walking in front of me stops abruptly, for no apparent reason. This is baffling and quite jarring, particularly when I am in full gait and nearly knock the person over.
Being aware is not just a common courtesy, it is also safe. Knowing what objects are moving in the periphery can keep the people around you safe as well. A mother at WalMart wasn’t aware and her daughter was nearly run over by a palette of potting soil. People walking in parking lots are too focused on their conversations or cellphones, not noticing their path of travel intersects with a moving vehicle.
Try, if you can, for the next few days to be aware of the things that are going on around you. Try and be 360° aware.