We have learned from the time that we were very young that we should remain aware of our surroundings, not only to prevent danger, but also to find solutions to whatever problems may arise. Watch where you’re going. Eyes forward. Pay attention. These are the types of instructions that most of us have heard forever.

In spite of those lessons, I am now believing that being that observant is nowhere close to important. Here’s why. Throughout our daily lives, someone or another is going to tell us something that we saw some time ago. If you are like me, you are occasionally going to want to say, “Thank you, Captain Obvious.” But it’s simply unnecessary.

People around you, family members, co-workers, friends, or associates are going to point out those things that you know or knew in the past. But it takes some serious mental changes to say “Thank you” for the observations that you are given, rather than saying, “I knew that” or “I saw it already” or “Duh.” And here’s why it’s a good idea.

Most of the comments or suggestions are for positive purposes – to enlighten, entertain, or engage you. They are not insults or statements of the obvious. And it really doesn’t matter if the material you are receiving is new or old. It’s all about intention.

Ultimately, no-one cares what you know or don’t know. The next time that someone reads a street or road sign, points out something that you have seen many times, or repeats instructions for the third or fourth time, suck it up. That person has no desire to insult your intelligence – it’s just easier to receive the information that is for your benefit rather than spend the time to determine whether you know it or not. Say thank you and leave it there. Shalom.

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