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Look Watch Observe

To look - direct one's gaze toward someone or something or in a specified direction.

To watch - look at or observe attentively over a period of time

To observe - notice or perceive (something) and register it as being significant

So much all around us, but without curiosity and questions we miss so much.

So much to glean from so little

What if I told you that an entire scholastic year could be built around the study of one item? Just give the thought a whirl. And if it doesn't seem sound as an actual proposal for the next school year, it can't be denied as an indispensable and much needed eye opening exercise to curb the constant superficial interpretations of our surrounding world.

In any case, look at what could be developed from the observation of a single humble coffee mug.

The 'what?where?when?why?who?how?' of a mug

  1. when was it invented and by who and where and why and with what and how

  2. traditional versus modern forms

  3. archaeological discoveries

  4. supply and demand

  5. natural versus synthetic materials

  6. materials and their provenance and use (extraction, toxicity, depletion, necessity)

  7. process of manufacture and production (efficiency, waste, impact on health and well being)

  8. expenses and profit

  9. assembly lines and machinery

  10. logistics (transportation and impact on planet)

  11. worker's rights (salaries, hours, conditions, benefits, health and safety)

  12. artisanship and artistry (study, training, classes, workshops)

  13. differing aesthetics in different cultures

  14. storytelling and historical markers

  15. advertising and marketing

  16. research and development

  17. location (geography, topography)

  18. hobby diy

  19. job opportunities

  20. alternative materials and uses


So, here we have the study of economics, business, math and accounting, history, geography, sociology, anthropology, art, earth science, political science and more, depending on how deep you wish to go.

Point being that we see so much and are bombarded by so much stimuli, on a daily basis, that it feels, at least to me, that we have lost the power of true observation of all that surrounds us as we frenetically and superficially process it all.

Going just that little bit deeper sharpens our mental acumen, permits discovery and connections and allows for observation from different angles.

I vote for more detailed and timely observation to increase understanding, hence tolerance and acceptance of what we know, what is different and everything in between.

We can learn so much from seemingly so little, it seems a shame to turn a blind eye on it all.

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