A Question of Focus

Okay, you may not be to the age of turning down the volume so you can see street signs. But, it is likely, if you play the radio, stereo, or whatever in your car, you experience another little trick of the auditory system. You know you get in, start the car, and the volume blows your hair back as you scramble for the mute button.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Then you begin to wonder, who left the dang volume so darn high! In most cases, it was you, but it might have been your spouse or one of the kids. Regardless, the problem or condition, if you prefer, is universal. It is a matter of focus and appears in many different ways.

As I type, the noise above my head goes from the sound of silence to that of a nail gun or sledgehammer. It’s hard to tell when you’re working inside a house that’s getting a new roof.

Yes! I could go somewhere quiet to read and write. Unfortunately, there are several reasons I need to hang around. Besides, it was the inspiration for this piece. I am in the midst of potentially ear-damaging chaos and can continue working. It is possible to function and be productive in the middle of a maelstrom.

If that were not so, there would be fewer living heroes. First responders saving lives would be akin to myth, and there would be few, if any, soldiers awarded medals for saving the day other than posthumously. Focus is one of the gifts God or nature gave us, but it is a gift we can misuse.

For some of us, the volume of the music or talk on the radio can be so distracting we run smack dab into a wall instead of hitting the brakes. However, the biggest problem with the focus question is not so instantly dangerous. It is more along the lines of death by a thousand cuts.

Consider a piece I wrote some years ago, A Blind Eye. It deals with our ability to see only what we want sometimes. The view below inspired this piece. It’s my daughter’s view from her home in central Texas.

What do you see, the lush foliage or the telephone pole behind the tree or the tower on the hill?

Her place overlooks a greenbelt. Some visitors see the beautiful hill country landscape, while others only see the power lines visible through the trees.

So, what are you focused on now? Are you focused on this post, or are you just skimming it to see what kind of foolishness I’m up to today? Are you thinking about what you will be doing later or what you did earlier that didn’t turn out as you’d hoped?

Whatever you’re thinking or doing, focus is important. Consider the roofers, who have stopped making noise beyond muffled voices below my office window. They tear off and replace shingles, seemingly without much thought. However, if they lose focus for one moment, they could fall twenty feet onto a pile of debris and be on their way to the emergency room in a heartbeat!

Focus on what is important, and the diversions will not be able to make you fall. Unless you’re trying to focus on something truly important, and the person next to you is blasting bad heavy metal band music damaging your eardrums.

© oneoldcop.com 2022


About S. Eric Jackson

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4 Responses to A Question of Focus

  1. Pingback: A Reason to Give Thanks | An Old Cop's Place

  2. Pingback: A Question of Focus: A Reminder | An Old Cop's Place

  3. Michelle says:

    I think 45 is the age at which one turns down the radio volume if one is finding a new location. I didn’t realize until then that the ears and eyes were such a unit 😂

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