John Taylor (_johnboy) wrote,
John Taylor

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Sensitivity. Such a curious concept. Sensitivity. To be sensitive is to be attuned to needs and desires, to be aware of input and situations; be it from your own body, your own life, or the people around you, it is simply to be conscious of what's going on. It's a very specific kind of empathy. It's knowing what a person is feeling because of a situation and understanding both your own position and theirs as well. It's understanding the signals of a situation, of being on guard and experienced and awake enough to pick up on minutiae. Sensitivity thrives on subtleties. Be careful what you might be missing - sensitivity should be a permanent thing - you should be sensitive and understanding to the situation at hand in addition to being hurt, confused, angry, happy, of having whatever response is appropriate - it's both a state of objectivity and subjectivity to be aware of a situation from multiple perspectives and then choosing to deal it with according to one of them. It's a full state of consciousness; there's so much to keep track of. If one is truly sensitive, it becomes almost difficult to use the defense that you didn't know any better - staying in touch makes sure that that never happens. It's important to be sensitive, for personal safety, for personal comfort, and for the safety and comfort of the people around you. More than important: it's a responsibility to be sensitive to the world and to act accordingly.

Respect comes after the initial sensitivty. It's choosing the reaction to your newfound knowledge. It's making the decision to do something with it and to respond. It's possible to be sensitive to something and still disrespect or disregard that sensitivity. These are the times that people will act in spite of another person's mood or when you ignore your own body's signals or symptoms. Sensitivity doesn't determine a reaction, but it can help to guide one. Knowing how to respond is usually intuitive for most people, simply for the fact that we are conditioned to be on the lookout for certain conditions and to meet them in certain ways - seeing and comforting a crying person is sensitive, but it is not truly sensitive so much as it is encountering a situation we're prepared for. Sensitivity must be a far more adaptable and versatile substance than simply being something that happens every once in a while.

There is never such a thing as too much sensitivity. There can be too much of a response or too much disregard of the implications that sensitivity brings, but there's never too much of sensitivity itself. The more sensitive one is, the more reactive and proactive the mind and body will be in any given situation. One fully in touch with his or her body will be infinitely more responsive to danger and far more likely to survive a dangerous situation than someone without a honed sense of awareness. Being conscious of the situation gives clues to how to get through it, it unlocks the door to more possibilities. Sensitivity is knowing. And knowledge is power.
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