HEADS UP

It's General Awareness Month and here's what you can do to make sure you're generally aware!

Things are happening in the world. Like, lots of things. All the time. Do you know what they are?
(Shutterstock / Mikhail Kadochnik)

Things are happening in the world. Like, lots of things. All the time. Do you know what they are?

If not, don't panic. A vague understanding that things are occurring in the world is the first step toward being generally aware. November is General Awareness Month. This is a month dedicated to promoting the awareness of being aware. Sound complicated? It doesn't have to be! If you're wondering how YOU can become more aware of being generally aware of your own awareness of yourself and the world around you, here are some simple things you can do.

Look around you when you're outside

Orienting yourself to your surroundings is the first major step toward general awareness. Make sure your vision and hearing are unobstructed, and keep your wits about you when crossing the streets. The sky is up and the ground is down. Breathe in the air and notice any smells. Dress appropriately for the weather (try layers!) and bring a sweater if it looks like it will get cold later.

Scroll quickly through your Twitter newsfeed

Not so slowly that you become invested in any one tweet. Remember, you're aiming to get a general sense of what's trending. Taking a few minutes to invest some thought in the world's issues is not necessary. As long as you clock one or two major headlines, you've got the gist of what's going on. As the old saying goes, "If you've got the gist, you're an expert, sure." (Anonymous)

Overhear a conversation on the TTC

Eavesdropping on public transit can be a great way to educate yourself about what's happening around you. Snippets of conversations about jobs, families, romances and money can give you an efficient sampling of what's going on in the minds of other humans. You only need a peripheral understanding of the topics to be generally aware of them and from there, you can fabricate your own personal statistics and details. Karen didn't break up with that bartender six times this month for nothing, after all.

Share a provocatively titled political article you haven't read to your social media

If an article's title resonates with you, there's no need to read it. The title tells you what the article is about, so you've got all the information you need to proceed. Share that article to let your followers know that you're conscious of this article's issues. You're also more than entitled to get into a debate about the issue on the thread that follows your post. When you feel stuck, post other similarly-titled articles you haven't read as further evidence of your point.

Get yourself a General Awareness Ribbon

November's General Awareness ribbons are more of an abstract concept than a piece of fabric you can pin to your clothes. If you're writing strongly worded Facebook statuses, speaking with authority about a world issue that you saw on Twitter, or spouting made-up statistics that you gathered from your eavesdropping research, consider yourself a member of the General Awareness Army (#GAA). You're doing your part to be aware of, but never too informed about, what is happening around you.

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About the Author

Allana Reoch

Allana is currently performing with the Mainstage cast for The Second City’s 80th revue, Party Today, Panic Tomorrow. She is a two-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee & past winner of the Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award. Most recently, her credits include writing for Comedy Network’s THE BEAVERTON, on which she also plays Beauty Expert, Amber. Her solo characters were featured in both the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival and Montreal Sketch Comedy Festival’s Best of the Fest shows, and earned her a spot in JFL42’s New Faces Character showcase. She can be seen performing around Toronto with troupe, Panacea (Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2015, Now Magazine & Torontoist). Allana is a proud alumna of The Sketchersons. Yes we blam!