Sunday, May 1, 2011

Be AWARE!!

So, Happy May everyone! Here in Canada, I woke up to this on the glorious first day of May:

April showers bring May... snowstorms??
Thankfully a lot of it has melted already... I'm hoping it'll all be gone soon!

So, now that I have made you aware of the weather on my corner of the earth... I will now proceed to make you aware of some other things, while straying away from the writerly/readerly stuff for once. (I think I may do this more often, it's fun sharing different things I find out!)

Anyway, before we get any deeper, watch this video, and PAY ATTENTION. I'd say I have a prize for you if you pay attention, but I don't. Unless you want a virtual pat on the back.



So. How'd you do? And I'm not talking about getting the number of passes right. Yeah, you didn't see the bear, did you? Neither did I when I tried this.

It's amazing how much of the world we don't pay attention to, isn't it? If you think about all the stimuli and information that could be entering our brain at one time, well, it's overwhelming. We HAVE to ignore stuff or we'd explode. The problem with that is we might miss really important stuff because we aren't paying attention to the right things (like... a moon walking bear, maybe?)

This was a big part of a discussion that was going on in one of my classes at school. Afterward, though, I was thinking about the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and how the character in that book mentioned that he has to take everything in. That's why he hates going to new places: he has to notice every little thing that's different. No wonder these kinds of people don't like change and are adamant about routine. My mom later told me that this would count as autism.

See, the thing is, people who have I guess "normal" brains, see the big picture. Instead of seeing a whiteboard with "Practise flute" and a whole bunch of specific stuff written on it, and going throughout the room and taking in every detail, we see just a room. Maybe details here and there, if our brain decides it needs to take into account that information.

But people with autism see the details, instead of the big picture. My dad told me about this radio host who had a girl with a high level of autism on his show to interview her. Apparently she talked about the experience of walking through a field, and how just all the different colours of green would overwhelm her. Pretty crazy, isn't it? I mean, if we wanted to we could seperate colours of green, but why would we want to pay attention to that?

Isn't thinking about how people think fascinating?

What kinds of things are worthy of your attention? Certain details? Just the big picture?

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