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watching television
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Be Alert
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How do you feel right now? Do you feel sleepy? Or are you wide-awake, ready to see what happens next? Alertness is very important.

If you did not get enough sleep last night, you probably feel sleepy. You might be watching television, making out your "to do" list for tomorrow, and planning on going to bed early. On the other hand, if you had a great night's sleep, you are probably hard at work right now. You might be writing a 400-word article, for instance, and imagining what you will do when you earn a fortune from your writing. You are alert, aware of every aspect of your surroundings. During the daytime hours, it is beneficial to be alert. When you are alert, you can be productive, stay safe, and avoid embarrassment.

How can being alert help you to be productive? Alertness can help you to be productive by helping you work faster. People who are tired or distracted tend to work at a slower pace. They may be so tired or distracted that they may even repeat tasks that they have already completed. An alert person, on the other hand, will complete his assigned tasks and then take on other duties. He may also volunteer to help others with their responsibilities. While productivity is one reason to stay alert, safety is another reason.

When the average person is out and about, it is very common to see people walking or running with headphones on. They have found a song that they like--a song that is the perfect rhythm and length for a good walk or run. They listen to the song while they exercise. They are paying attention to the music, the rhythm, their breathing, and the feeling of their feet hitting the pavement as they move. They are very involved in what they are doing and not paying attention to their surroundings. This situation is the perfect setup for something to happen. The person could be attacked. He might also trip and fall. Many people exercise to music every day without incident, but it only takes one time to be traumatized for life. Live, exercise, enjoy life and your music, but be very careful.

Finally, being alert can help you to avoid embarrassment. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to be a college student attending a campus safety presentation. You are sitting in a chair in the ballroom of the student union. The room is packed with students. In front of the large group stands a campus security officer, who is talking to the group. It is 7 p.m., last night was a long night, and today was a very long day. You are interested in the presentation, but you are struggling to keep your eyes open. You nod off for just a minute, and the officer notices. Suddenly, as part of his presentation, he speaks very loudly. Startled, you jump and turn red. Very embarrassed, you want to run out of the room, but you can't. Because of a lack of alertness, you were embarrassed. The embarrassment would have been avoided if you had been rested enough to pay attention to what was going on.

Be alert. There is so much beauty around us that we miss when we are distracted. Pay attention, and enjoy it.

Street Talk

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