“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” (Henry David Thoreau) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
We are a visually oriented society. We use phrases like, “see the inner beauty”, “I see where you’re going with that”, and “I can see you point of view.” Those all indicate things that can’t really be looked at, but which are “seen” in our minds eye. Thoreau’s little quote was talking about just such a thing.
We humans have the ability to look beyond the surface of what we see and “see” something different, perhaps deeper that what appears on the surface. In fact, sometimes we don’t have to look at something in order to “see” it. Love can’t be looked at, but you can “see it in someone’s eyes or how they interact with someone that they love. In the movie Avatar the phrase “I See You” took on added meaning, because for the creatures of that planet seeing one another went well beyond just looking at the other person. Mark Twain put it well when he said – “The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn’t indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn’t detect.”
Do you look at people with a “seeing eye” or do you dwell upon their surface, studying their features, body, hair and such. What a pity to never really get to know them, if that is the case.
In the Jimmy Cliff song, “I can see clearly now,” the act of seeing takes on a more metaphysical meaning and relates to clearing away depression and dealing with life from a more positive point of view. Seeing is often associated with one’s perspective and that perspective may be influenced by many things, including one’s background and education. Two people can observe a destitute man/woman on the street; one may “see” a bum to be avoided and the other may “see” a fellow human being who needs their help. They will react differently to what they “see.”
Life’s challenges are oft “seen” in different ways too. Some cannot “see” past the challenge or “see” a solution to the problem; but for others the words of Jonathan Swift apply – “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” How’s your vision? Do you just see the problems and not the solutions? Open your eyes and your mind to the possibilities and think positively. You will “see” things in a different light – the light of positive thinking. Remember these words from Anais Nin – “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” You have the power to change your attitude and then the things that you see will change, too.
Look around you and ”see” the world as it can be for you and the people in it for who they really are. “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru.
Open your eyes and “see”.