• An eleven letter word indicating one’s awareness of his or her surroundings; recognition of the truth •
It’s pick up time at daycare. I watch as the oblivious children stomp over each other’s backpacks, practically trampling each other in the process. No sense of manners are present, with just one goal in mind: gathering what’s theirs and heading home. And I, the nanny of two young boys, am perplexed about how little these kids notice around them. I think for a second that maybe oblivion isn’t so bad. How pleasant it must be to know nothing about the damages of war, the struggles of poverty, the ache of heartbreak and the tragedy of death.
It is now visiting time at the hospital. I watch as my grandpa, attached to several wires, is struggling to breathe. A child would not realize the severity of this situation, but I am fully aware of what is going on. As we mature, we are exposed to the truth we once overlooked. We’re forced to accept that the world is far from perfect. We learn that people can’t live forever. We experience the distribution of the good and the bad.
Childhood is a time where we lack all of these realizations. It is a time where the darkest thoughts in our minds revolve around the non-existent monsters under our beds, not the terrorists (real life monsters) wandering the streets. It is a time where the hardest part of the day is sneaking a treat from the cookie jar while unconcerned with all of life’s more serious troubles. Some may wish to return to these easygoing days full of cluelessness, but I believe it would be difficult to live in a world of such chaos without the awareness of reality. As we grow, we lose our sense of innocence as our curious minds yearn to obtain a clearer understanding of this life. Once we become open to learning about what’s occurring around us, we embark on a lifelong journey full of lessons, experiences, and useful knowledge.
“The realization of ignorance is the first act of knowing.”
“The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end but only a beginning.”