One of the main goals and primary purpose of The Loren Donn Leslie Foundation is to help anyone and everyone to be more aware of, first of all, themselves, their immediate surroundings, and of others. To be aware of yourself you don’t just have to be self -aware but physically aware as well.

 Definition of awareness; knowledge of, understanding of, appreciation of, recognition of, attention to, perception of, consciousness of, acquaintance with, enlightenment with, sensibility to, realization of, familiarity with, mindfulness of, cognizance of. **

Synonyms: aware, cognizant, conscious, sensible, awake, alert, watchful, vigilantAs we see by the definition of awareness, that it is very open and diverse word with many areas that may relate to our everyday lives. Its meaning can be from the spiritual to the physical to the sub-conscious; we have some control of each.

Aware implies knowledge gained through one’s own perceptions or by means of outside stimuli. The ability to be aware of your physical world is so automatic sometimes that we don’t recognize it as knowledge. To get training, taught, or coached brings a certain amount of automatic response once the knowledge is gained. We rely and count on it to be available at whim that we don’t recognize it as gained knowledge many times. Practice is a valuable tool, not just in sports, music or work, but also in our daily lives, it is like being or becoming aware. So when we are in our homes, how do we become more aware and are we more aware?  What are we aware of? Think of some of the things you are aware of in your home and life, how did you become aware of these things? Is there a difference in “I just know”, and “duh, pretty obvious eh” and yes I have consciously learned that? Let’s look at basic house hold chores and home related scenarios. Are you aware that the house plant needs to be watered? And when they need to be watered? How are we aware that our clothes need to be cleaned? How are we aware of garbage day? Are we aware when a vehicle is parked down the block for an extended period of time? Are we aware of that person whom your child just started hanging around with?  At what stage does this happen? Do we make a point of knowing something? That is becoming aware. Is seeing something once enough to make you aware? No, of course not, to really be aware takes insight. Insight to an order, a logic or a situation and then to understand the implications is really a big part of initiating awareness.

You see that person who is a threat?  Having had an experience to which to compare and identify will be the basis of that perception. That experience may have been a rumor, a media article or personal, but it is an outside influence that has helped to form our opinion as to how we see that person or how we interpret how we perceive that individual, as a threat. We have been made aware. In being aware, or having awareness, we are more able to understand, perceive and deal with things around us on a daily basis.

Awareness is a relative concept. An animal, which includes humans, may be partially aware, may be subconsciously aware, or may be acutely aware of an event or of their surroundings. A dog, for instance, can detect or perceive an event before we, humans can. Are they more aware?  In some instances, yes they can detect movement and smells with much more awareness than we. There are many times when a group has gathered and an incident may occur where only one or a few will be aware of the potential impending doom. Past experiences may make an individual more aware of certain conditions or situations which could be lost on some others who haven’t experienced the same scenarios.

Once we start to explore to be aware, or awareness, we see that life is full of opportunity to be aware of what is around us. We should take the time to slow down and “smell the roses”. This figurative phrase sums up the way we should be approaching life. Not just the simple things of enjoyment but also the ability we have to take the time to take care of ourselves and what is all around us.

Bruce Leslie
December 2011

** Excerpt from Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002