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How Observant are You?

Updated on August 16, 2014


As a Teen, my dad didn’t like it if I walked or sat somewhere without looking left or right, once in a while. He always asked me to be conscious of my surroundings. I didn’t see the need. I only looked left and right when crossing the road, but he instilled it in me. I think being Observant is a very good skill and saves us a lot. A few instances below, to give food for thought.


a) Terrorism - In Dec 2009, some passengers were observant enough to notice, when the terrorist tried to ignite the explosive on American Airlines. This action saved many lives.

b) Theiving Staff – I’ve noticed some companies have computers locked to the desk. It’s because computers go missing (not flat laptops). Security Officers don’t seem to be observant enough. I’m guessing people carried Pcs under a big overcoat, while smuggling them from the building and security assumed every man and woman was pregnant while passing by Reception.

c )Couples Tiff – E.g If a lady has a new hairstyle, the first thing she expects you to say when you see her is “wow, you look great” or something along those lines. So, "better-half", if you walk through the door and for a good 10 minutes haven’t noticed her new Hairstlye while she’s talking, chances are you’ll be having a cold dinner or none at all. :)

d) Shopping – for those trying to save. After paying for shopping, if you check the receipt, you’ll notice sometimes, you have been over charged or the deal (maybe "buy one get one free") didn’t register. If you check the receipt while in store, they’ll refund you the money but it’s a bit annoying when you notice while you are casually looking at it, halfway through eating your pasta.

e) Bank Statements – I won’t go into detail. I know, that you know what I would cover here.



Someone wearing Niqab

f) Disguise - I feel Airport Security have a higher standard regarding observance. A Somalian murder suspect (murder of a police woman) left Heathrow airport, London in a full Niqab, using his sisters passport. He was spotted later on CCTV wearing it, carrying a ladies hand bag. In London, Security don’t like to check Muslim ladies in Niqab, but at least they should talk to them and make sure “She” is not a “He”.

g) Incest - I hope you don’t think I’m insensitive, but this is about the Austrian man who held his daughter captive in the base of his home, while living with his wife. Surely, if his wife had been observant, she would have spotted something. Her daughter was living beneath her for 24 years and Josef (her husband) fathered 7 of his daughters’ kids there. Yet, she was living with her husband upstairs.

Yosef F - Fathered 7 of his daughters kids.

h) Not wanting to leave a bad taste in your mouth after reading the above point – Some of my friends call me “X-Ray” eyes. Once, I was at the Train station and there were 2 queues to 2 ticket machines. I was in one of the queues and spotted a £20 note on the floor, with so many people standing around. I hope you won’t ask me what I did with it. I’ve also come back from work and even though it was dark, saw £10 just behind my car. That one got me curious, I picked it up very slowly because I was expecting someone to pull it on a string when I touched it.

I could go on and on. People visiting our houses with False I.D. Do we really check? The areas surrounding places we buy sandwiches/fresh food etc etc. but I think you have got the gist. I’m not saying we should stare at everyone for a loooong time or keep our head down incase we spot a bar of gold – but its handy to be observant in our own way. We stand to gain a lot.


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    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Cheers Steve. Glad you stopped by. :)

    • profile image

      Steve 6 years ago

      Enjoyed the post - lots of good examples where being observant is important. Off to help kids be more observant now!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      True - dreamreachout. You never see those buzzing bees coming. It's good you instilled it into your daughter - we girls tend to live in our own little world when we are young, oblivious to our surroundings.

      Thanks for stopping.

    • profile image

      dreamreachout 7 years ago

      Its such a relevant hub!! Leave aside terrorists, you need to be observant to save your self from an insect too!! Good observation helps you in your future endeavours too!! For me, its so strong that I would rather die than being observant!! I have instilled this feature into my daughter as well!! Wonderful, relevant hub!! :)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Lol. 2Patricias - Oh, that tickled me. Thanks for sharing your story.

      Regards to you both. :)

      ** Cheers Maita. BTW, I am enjoying the Hubs you are writing about Chinese Tradition. Its quite an insight. Thanks.

      ** True Zac. lol. Thanks again for your comments. Regards.

    • Zac828 profile image

      Zac828 8 years ago from England

      The other observance is to see opportunities, open your eyes to the whole world. Trouble is if you are staring into another world you trip up on the pavement!! Another great hub, well done.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hi Lady, bow to all you have said, the Austrian man is digusting and his wife is a dead unobservant, Your dad gave you a lesson which is very helpful, Maita

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      When Pat's daughter was 12, it seemed that she suddenly had a surprised look. After 2 days, Pat worked out that daughter had shaved off her eyebrows. When we discussed this we decided that we would need to develop new powers of observation to survive our kids' teenage years. (It's true, parents should be observant to be good parents).

      Thanks for a thought provoking hub.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Lol Mike. You'd notice the watch... I think we all miss things sometimes, even me. Thanks for stopping.

      ** Thanks Drpastorcarlotta - it was sad about that Austrian man. Anyway, nice to read from you. Thanks for your comments.

      ** Totally agree with you HP Roychoudhury. Thanks so much for stopping.

      ** Hi Laura, nice to read from you. I think it's natural with mums to be preoccupied. I'll be the same when I have a kid - I'm sure. :) Thanks for your comments.

    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 8 years ago from South Africa

      Great Hub - Unfortunately being observant is mostly a learned habit that should be taught to children. I am so unobservant because I tend to be preoccupied with a million thoughts about anything but my surroundings - your Hub just made me realize how dangerous this can be. Thanks for the great Hub.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Now-a-days it is absolutely become necessary to be observant in the day’s terrorist act everywhere. In the early days, there was no terrorist act. Dispute was there but there was no cowardly activity. Either it was an open declaration of conflict or an economic or diplomatic boycott but not like present day cowardly act of terrorism.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 8 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      WOW!!!!!!! GREAT HUB!!!! In these days and times you better be observant. I am always watching, observing, and praying! I seen that story of the father that father 7 chilrens from his own daughter on TV! This Hub is awesoome!!!! and true!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I'm not overly observant, I'm afraid. I'm more the type to notice the wrong things. I might see what a nice watch a guy is wearing and completely miss that he's pointing a gun at me (well, it might not be THAT bad...hopefully if a maniac held someone hostage in my basement, I would get a clue.). I have tried to check receipts and things like that, but I guess the dreamer inside me is too lost in thought.

      Your hub makes me wonder how much I might miss in the course of, say, a week.

      Curious thought........................

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Thanks Fastfreta. I'm glad you are very observant.

      Nice to read from you. :)

      ** Cheers Fishtiger, glad you enjoyed it. Regards. :)

    • fishtiger58 profile image

      fishtiger58 8 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      Great hub Lady E thanks so much for an interesting read.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Very nice hub Lady_E, I agree, being observant is very important especially as you said about letting people into our homes with proper ID. Now when it comes to shopping I am very observant, because as you said checkers can make mistakes. Again very good.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Cheers Jai

      Its really nice to observe the beauty of nature. Love the point you made. Thanks.

      ** Thanks peacenhim, I'm sure your words will always ring in her ears, lol. Regards.

      ** Hi Mystique, Thanks for your encouraging comments. Everytime I look at your photo, I can't help but feel you have a Profile on Redgage. I will check out that Redgage pic again.... Nice to read from you.

      ** Cheers J dove-miller, you are not alone. I'm sure there are still things I'm oblivious to as well. Best Wishes.

      ** Hello Deborrah. Thanks for your encouraging comments. I wish I was very intuitive. lol.

      Thanks again for stopping. Best wishes.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello SaintatLarge - your comments made me think twice. Actually not all Pastors are real Pastors. Some ask for money before they pray for you. We should be observant in our Religious communities. Glad you stopped by.

      ** Hi Yenajeon, I'm sure from now on you will. Thanks for your comments. Best Wishes.

      ** Hello Ralph, I think your Cousin has a gift. He is super observant. It's nice to notice little things when we go walking or are in a park. Have you noticed the birds and squirrels don't even fly/run away when people get close. The Beauty of Nature. Nice to read from you.

      ** My goodness Andromida, false ID of Police. This world is really getting sophisticated with crime. Thanks for commenting. Regards.

      ** Thanks so much Lorlie, for your very nice encouraging comments. You got me blushing. I enjoyed reading your Hub yesterday and will be back to read more. Kind Regards.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 8 years ago

      Lady E, Wonderful hub! Very insightful and thought provoking! Excellent examples! It really is important to be aware and observant of your surroundings... Elena, you are very intuitive! Are you sure we are not related LOL

      Much love & Blessings!

    • profile image

      jdove-miller 8 years ago

      Yours is advice I need to take. I am very observant about some things and absolutely oblivious about others.

    • Mystique1957 profile image

      Mystique1957 8 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      Great hub, Elena. I totally agree with you! In my case I had to take my "Watchmanship" a few notches down because friends thought I was paranoid. Apart from all your advices, it is good to remember that careful watching is important for writers to get a detailed information about behaviors and people.

      Two thumbs up!

      warm regards and blessings,


    • profile image

      peacenhim 8 years ago

      Fascinating article! Great advice....I'm always telling my daughter to be observant when she's out with friends. (Teenager). But observing our surroundings is definitely something we all need to be aware of. Thanks!

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 8 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      Very interesting topic Lady E. It's a reminder to use all our senses, not only as a security system, but also to capture and enjoy the beauty life brings our way. I think we sometimes take for granted these God-given abilities.

      Well done, Thanks

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      ** You are lucky Dohn, I've seen some people put the jacket in the washing machine and the money (note) gets washed with it. Ouch! Nice to read from you again.

      ** Oh my Goodness, Hypnodude. First I've heard of people committing robbery with Niqabs. This might start to get people review security on Veils. I laughed at the Gypsy comments. Thanks for stopping.

      ** Hi Unchained grace - that's a nice way to look at it (from a spiritual point of view) We are admonished to be Vigilant. It gives me food for thought. Thanks.

      ** Hola, Hello hello, glad you found it useful. Thanks for your comments.

      ** Lol Duchess. Its been a while since I saw some money on the ground. Lovely to read from you again. Thanks for your comments.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Ah, Elena, so you're a veritable watcher! Which is, certainly, one of the crucial attributes of a fine writer. I applaud your observance and hope you find many more notes! :)

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 8 years ago

      Great tips lady_E-its an awakening for me.People visiting houses with false I.D is really a big issue;I know one incident where robbers used false ID of police.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Good thoughts. I learned to be observant from my uncle and cousin working summers on their cattle ranch. My cousin's ability to spot a sick cow or a coyote or a fence that needed repair was phenomenal. He had sharp eyes that continuously scanned everything that was around him. Beyond that he and his father were keen observers of human behavior and motivations, almost to the point of being able to read the minds of others around them. I've retained the habit of being aware of what's going on around me to this day. When I go for walks with my wife I'm continually calling her attention to birds, animals and curiosities along the way.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 8 years ago from California

      I am not observant at all! My family, my friends and my bf all complain about how I need to be more aware of my surroundings for safety. great hub!

    • Saintatlarge profile image

      Saint Lawrence 8 years ago from Canada

      Hi Lady_E, even Jesus said to watch for the wolves in sheeps clothing. Curiosity may have killed the cat but naivity will kill the Christian. Great "eye".

      Blessings L.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      Great Hub Lady_E and certainly unique. Some scary stuff you used to illustrate your point. It certainly encourages us to pay more attention. Of course, if we all found money every once it awhile, that would help too.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Great advice but I am hopeless seeing things. I agree with you that we all should be more aware of our surrounding. Thank you for a very good hub.

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Being observant physically as well as spiritually brings everything to a whole new level. It is without a doubt we should be always vigilant in these areas not just to create an "Early Warning System" against some form of attack, but to also not miss the blessings God puts in our path as we go through life.

      Lady_E, this Hub brings out some very good points and as Dohn121 said, I've not seen one quite like it.

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 8 years ago from Italy

      Definitely good advices, and you are right, most of the times we just go on without observing very much. In France last week two male criminals made a robbery wearing Niqabs, but as you said to avoid revolts no one likes to check them too close. Definitely something that must be worked on as you can hide everything underneath them. It reminds me of gipsy ladies with their extremely large skirts used well when stealing, a computer simply disappear, well, without monitor. Maybe that's what thieving staff do? :)

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Without a doubt, you are observant! I found some money in my lifetime, but mostly it was MY OWN money like in my laundry or old jacket I had not worn since the previous year! I really like the premise behind this hub, Elena. You are observant and keen as I've yet to find anything quite like this hub! Thanks.