We all have access to an “impartial and well-informed spectator.” This spectator’s form of attention puts us in the present and gives us a more unbiased perspective — much the way our attention is focused when we travel to a new place, noticing details that the locals take for granted.

This idea was first introduced in the 18th century by Adam Smith and Ted Lord from The Giving Practice was pleasantly surprised to find this referenced in this  New York Times article.