It’s all in the Details


In the Army, there is a saying that is more than just words, it is more like a creed of awareness. They beat it into our brains to “pay attention to details.”

Details are important. Sometimes so important, they can be the difference between life and death. Little things that may seem insignificant at first can make huge after-effects. Like the coordinates on a map, the degrees of artillery, the exact wording of public statements, these things can have devastating results if just off by a little detail. We have to be exact, precise and accurate. Of course, Soldiers are human. We can’t always be right. And sometimes we don’t have all the facts to work with and just have to act based off our training, experience and gut feelings, or follow the orders of those higher making the decisions. But, all of that is built from years and years of dealing with, and paying attention to details.

As a Reserve Soldier, many people call us “Weekend Warriors.” Personally, I don’t like that term. After 14 years as a Reservist, I don’t think my duty has really ever just been done on a weekend. There are conference calls, planning sessions, and endless emails and coordination between weekend training events. All those details for the weekend don’t just happen. They have to be laid out, considered and acted upon.

I do have a civilian side too. I am not always in “Soldier mode.” Sometimes, I am just a silly girl trying to enjoy life. I am not thinking about training, uniforms, or war. I want to read books, write blogs, take pictures, ride my horse, and laugh with friends. I want to watch romantic movies and wear cute clothes. But I can’t separate the Soldier from me. Nor do I want to. All my training and deployment experience has made me open my eyes to details. Does that person’s eyes reflect what they are saying? How is the sun hitting the water? What is the best word to express a certain feeling?

This awareness to details is something that I think helps with writing and photography, especially macro photography – which I really just started to play with. I am intrigued with macro photography as it allows me to show the up close and personal nuisances of something. I am able to highlight a tiny piece of magic I noticed. Something so insignificant and right around me, but yet, it has importance in its area of the world. And by noticing it, I have stopped to honor it, paying it respect for its little part in my life and the world.

I often wonder, if more people (particularly the angry, negative, hateful people) in the world would stop and “pay attention to the details,” could this be a better world? I think it could if they did…but maybe they just need to be trained to see.

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For the Phoneography Challenge.

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The host, Lens and Pens by Sally, has a great post this week too of course. Click here to check that out. She also shows links other bloggers’ posts.