There's an old saying, "Familiarity breeds contempt." And I think it's wrong, at least, as normally understood. I suspect that familiarity rather breeds a lack of awareness. The most familiar things, we look beyond. We rarely focus properly on them. We take them for granted. We ignore them. And that creates problems.
What's the closest, most familiar thing of all to each of us? Our own mental stream or theater of consciousness. The solitariness and uniqueness of our inner experience. Nobody else has my state of consciousness right now. Nobody else has yours. And we can know only as much about it as you might be prepared to share and reveal. But it can never be shared fully. The inner sanctum of you can never be fully put into words and conveyed to another person to the extent that they would know 100% what it's like to be you, to think like you, see like you, feel like you.
And I don't think we spend enough time pondering that inner self. When the Greeks advised "Know Yourself" they meant all of our inner reality, including things normally hidden to our conscious states. But they also meant this. What is the flow of your experience, in your mental and spiritual hiddenness? What tonality of feeling or attitude colors the inner you throughout the day? Is it helping you to develop into the person you want to be, or is it holding you back? Is it conveying patterns into the future that belong to your past, but that will prevent the best outcomes you most desire? We ignore our inner lives to our great detriment.
And then, I think, the second ring of familiarity may be our bodies. We too often ignore one or more aspects of our physical being in ways that aren't conducive to health and flourishing. Sure, some people seem to fixate on their bodies. But most of us ignore some aspect of our physical needs that would benefit from more attention.
And then, think beyond yourself: The next ring of familiarity may be your immediate family. The things of the world that demand our attention, added to those that lure our attention, can easily cause us to overlook, and pay insufficient attention to, the closest people around us. And that's deeply detrimental, to us, and to them.
We need reminders now and then not to let the most familiar things in our lives go begging for our attention, which is almost always focused elsewhere. The stuff that's elsewhere will never enhance our lives well, unless we're taking care of the most intimate parts of our existence and experience. So my advice today is: Don't let familiarity breed either contempt or unawareness - or, rather, what may actually be the contempt that consists in habitual unawareness. Rather, use the intimacy and proximity of those closest things for proper exploration and cultivation, creating a sound and healthy foundation for all else.