Every day in our lives, we see so many images and hear so many sounds. Yet we only look at and listen to a subset of them. “Selective attention” is the term used in psychology to explain the mechanism by which we do so, but here, I want to explore the reason we do so. Why do we become blind or deaf to certain things?
Maybe it is because they are unrelated to you, so they hold no meaning to you.
Maybe it is because they are not directed at you, so they have no influence on you.
Maybe it is because they are presented to you all the time and become too bothersome.
Maybe it is because they have too much impact on you and evoke fear.
It is very easy to close eyes and fold ears to these things – in many cases, we do so unconsciously. It keeps you focused, efficient, and safe. And that is a good thing. But are there not also times when you feel tired and bored of the same things, and wonder what you might be missing out on? Then you are most likely ready to turn conscious eyes and ears to things you once ignored.
And most probably, you will find new meanings, new influences, new delight, new courage.
A last note: RIP, D.B. – you had eyes that looked at and ears that listened to so many things, making you attractive to audience of such a wide range of age and race.