Updated: Jul 13
It's important to pay attention. It makes us aware of what we're doing. It helps people around us feel listened to.
When someone isn’t paying attention, people could get hurt and we won't feel safe.
For example, driving. If you're not paying attention while driving, you could injure yourself and others. Consider, therefore, practicing mindful driving: avoid any distractions (YOUR PHONE!), scan the road for surprises, and be ready to react.
Studies have shown that when a driver’s mind is focused on something other than driving—a daydream, a worry, a text, a video, or a phone conversation—the driver’s brain may not react to what the eyes detect on the road ahead.
What does it mean to behave mindlessly?
Mindlessness is what some call being on “autopilot.” When our brain is on autopilot, we are more likely to engage in risky behavior because we are less attentive.
Mindfulness is the opposite: When you are mindful, you are living in the present moment and paying more attention to what you are doing. A person who is situationally aware is attentive to their environment and their relationships.
The Torah is a book of laws. There are many reasons for these laws, but one of them is to keep order and keep us safe. This week we read Mishpatim, or Laws. We have commandments dealing with civil legislation, property laws, damages, and moral offenses. Society cannot exist without these laws; society cannot be moral without these laws.
Mindfulness can help us maintain a sense of order within ourselves, which can hopefully spread to the people around us.
The impact can be great.
Many of us are involved in changing the world, which is obviously important, but we often forget about how powerful and important it is to change ourselves.
We all have inner tensions that we too often ignore. When these tensions are ignored, they may influence the world around us.
For example, if we are holding on too tightly to our emotions, it may affect our relationships: the way we communicate, and the way we interact with the world.
Mindfulness can help us regulate our emotions, which in turn can help us feel more in control, safe, and secure – all of which radiates to those around us.